Since its inception in 2011, AfterShokz has been enhancing lives and changing the way people listen with its unique use of bone conduction technology. Through a suite of proprietary audio technologies and open-ear design, the company’s award-winning headphones deliver premium stereo sound and a promise of safety and comfort that is second to none. AfterShokz is committed to innovating unconventionally and making situational awareness a priority.
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5 SAFETY TIPS FOR BEGINNER RUNNERS
So you’ve decided to become a runner.
You see people posing on Facebook and Instagram looking like they are having such an excellent time with their colorful workout clothes and slick sports belt, and hey, you wouldn’t look half-bad with a medal dangling around your neck too! Maybe you’ve read about the long list of health benefits ranging from weight loss to stress reduction and think running is the positive change you need for a more fulfilling life.
Whether your goal is to add some exercise to your daily routine or complete a full-blown marathon, all runners have to begin with the basics and that includes safety tips!
1. PLAN YOUR ROUTE
A good strategy for new and seasoned runners alike, it may not be a bad idea to have your intended route in mind prior to beginning your run. Nothing kills runner’s high faster than realizing you have absolutely no idea how to get back, or discovering that you’re completely exhausted and still 27 songs from home. Yikes.
You may also want to consider selecting routes in more populated sections of the community, especially if you’re new to running or are unfamiliar with the area. Should a problem arise like a twisted ankle or depleted phone battery, there’s plenty of people around who can help.
By planning your routes ahead of time, you also have the advantage of calculating your distance. That gorgeous loop around the lake is 7 miles?! Mayyyybe in a few weeks. Calculating the mileage on your routes lets you start off slow and build up to those long journeys.
You should make yourself aware of any potential risks in your running environment, especially if the environment is new to you. Scorching hot days might mean carrying extra water, or a scenic trail might mean being aware of potential wildlife.
And if you’re running on the treadmill before hitting the pavement, you can still be safe making those plans too. Let someone know where you are, even if it’s just a text to your friend or a Facebook check-in at the gym.
2. CARRY A CELL PHONE
You may find yourself toying with leaving your cell phone at home, and while the physical weightlessness of not having it, not to mention the emotional weightlessness of disconnecting from texts, emails and notifications may be as enticing as a cold bottle of vitamin water, your phone can be your lifeline. No, you’ll probably never need it, but it’s better to have and not need, than need and not have.
Having your phone in your shorts pocket can be super cumbersome and awkward, so there’s plenty of solutions that will allow you to carry your phone without it feeling like a distraction – sports belts, arm bands, and performance clothing specifically designed to hold your electronics.
As for those pesky vibrations and notifications that can be detrimental when you’re striving to clear your mind, turn your phone off or turn on the “do not disturb” feature.
3. WEAR BRIGHT, REFLECTIVE CLOTHING
Not just for those early morning or late night runs! You’ve probably been behind the wheel before when you’ve noticed a runner you wish was dressed to be a little more noticeable. Anytime you run outside, you should consider the ways in which you’re making yourself visible to others.
While dressing in vibrant colors is important when running against traffic, it’s also important when running in nature too. Should you find yourself somehow separated from the path, you’ll want your clothing to draw the attention of others.
Many fitness brands keep this safety tip in mind when designing apparel so it’s easy to find clothing, sneakers, headbands, and caps with neon hues, reflective strips, and LED lights so you can’t be missed.
Not to mention, where else besides running do you get the opportunity to wear such fun colors as hot pink, lime green, and neon blue? Need we say more?
4. BE AWARE OF YOUR SURROUNDINGS
Wearing in-ear or over-the-ear headphones make it difficult for you to hear your surroundings so it is best to avoid them, especially when running on roads with low lighting or high traffic and particularly in unknown areas. Specialized headphones, like AfterShokz, have a unique open-ear design, so you can remain aware of your surroundings while enjoying your favorite songs. These headphones use patented bone conduction technology to send mini vibrations through your cheekbones to your inner ear leaving your ears open to ambient sounds for maximum situational awareness and safety.
In addition, it is safer to also be aware of traffic. That starts with running on the correct side of the road. You want to run against traffic so you can see an oncoming car before it’s anywhere near you.
Not only are you sharing the road with automobiles, you might be sharing the road with bicycles too. Hopefully the cyclists you encounter are obeying traffic laws and are moving in the opposite direction, but you should be aware of anyone moving behind you too.
Be extra cautious as you approach the tops of hills. You won’t be able to see what’s coming towards you, and what’s coming towards you won’t be able to see you.
Lastly, don’t put yourself in a compromising situation by trying to text your friend or read your Facebook newsfeed while running. Your eyes need to be on the road ahead.
5. CARRY IDENTIFICATION
If you’re only going to carry one thing on your person, make it your identification. While you’ll probably never find yourself in a situation where you need it, it’s always good to have it available. While rare, medical emergencies can happen, even if you’re the picture of perfect health. Join any running group, discussion forum or online chat and you’ll connect with someone who can share first-hand the importance of carrying identification.
Not keen on bringing your driver’s license on your quick sprint across town? Not a problem. There’s plenty of ways for you to relay important identification information to others without you having to pry your card out of your wallet every time you want to get some fresh air and exercise – shoe lace tags, wristbands, even apps for your phone!
One last thing – don’t skimp on your medical details. This information can save your life!
3 BENEFITS TO BONE CONDUCTION
There’s no shortage of headphone brands – you could probably name half-a-dozen off the top of your head. There’s also no shortage of headphone designs – earbuds, canal buds, lightweight headphones and full-size headphones. Many of us have tried most, if not all of these headphone types.
This article is going to talk about the benefits of a headphone design you maybe haven’t tried before – bone conduction.
What Is Bone Conduction?
Sound is made up of vibrations. When you hear the radio playing in a nearby car, when you hear a Golden Retriever barking across the street, when you hear bacon sizzling on a frying pan, you’re hearing through vibrations that are being sent through the air and into your eardrums.
Some of these vibrations reach your cochlea or inner ear. This is essentially how traditional headphones, or air conduction headphones, work.
Bone conduction offers a different way of hearing. Instead of sending vibrations through the eardrums, bone conduction sends vibrations through your cheekbones and into your cochleas, bypassing the eardrum altogether. You’re hearing the same way you’re able to hear your voice when you plug your own ears. (Try it!)
Bone conduction technology has been around for decades. You might have seen it used in some hearing aids. Google Glass adopted this technology as well. It has only recently been re-purposed for headphones in the early 2000s.
So what benefits do bone conduction headphones offer?
#1 Increased Situational Awareness
This is a big one!
Immersing yourself in the latest playlist or compelling audiobook is a great escape when walking, running, cycling or driving, but it’s a habit that greatly increases the risk of an accident; closing yourself off to the outside world also closes you off to trains, horns, and hollers.
According to a 2012 study from the University of Maryland School of Medicine and the University of Maryland Medical Center in Baltimore, 70 percent of these accidents resulted in death.
With bone conduction headphones, there are no speakers going over or into your ears, depleting your senses. Instead, the transducers sit on your cheekbones directly in front of your ears, leaving your ears completely open to your surroundings.
If you’re out for a jog, you can hear another jogger approaching behind you. If you’re cycling around town, you’re aware of the dog that broke from its leash. If you’re in construction, you can enjoy your music while still being alert to hazards. If you’re working in a cubicle, you remain connected to the office environment and approachable to your colleagues.
#2 More Comfortable Fit
Do your earbuds fall out? Do your ear canals hurt? Are full-size headphones too heavy for your morning run? Speakers getting all up in your earrings’ business?
Let’s face it – most headphones don’t get their reputation for being comfortable. Few things are more annoying than running on a treadmill with your right earbud dangling by the wire because you’re actually working up a sweat and the darn things won’t stay in.
Bone conduction headphones do away with the drama by leaving your ears out of the equation. For many individuals, it’s a whole lot more comfortable.
#3 A Unique Listening Experience
Jamming out to your favorite tunes through your cochleas, while still enjoying the sounds of the outside world through your eardrums, is a unique, double-layered listening experience that’s unlike any other. It’s almost like having a super power. It’s something you’ll just have to see – or hear – to believe.
Ready to give bone conduction headphones a try?