Snake Safety for Runners

Spring has sprung! Finally!! Time to fold up those treadmills and get outside!
There is nothing like a good walk, hike, or run when the winter finally breaks.

Exercising outdoors can add variety to your routine, and give you a fun and challenging workout. However, exercising outdoors also can bring some less desirable factors including unwanted guests….SNAKES!!!

As a runner, I have encountered many critters during my workouts. I have swallowed countless bugs, pulled numerous ticks from my body, ran from growling, unleashed animals, and I have even come face to face with a very large black bear. But nothing scares me more than that lurking snake. But don’t let your fears get the best of you. Follow these tips (from Runners World) to help prepare you should you encounter a snake.

  1. Educate yourself on the types of snakes in your area. You should learn how to differentiate between harmless and dangerous snakes that are native to your area.
  2. If you should encounter a snake, Let it be. Don’t provoke it. It’ll likely try to get away from you as quickly as possible. Snakes only try to defend themselves if they’re cornered or harassed. Bites are mostly reported by people who’ve been playing with snakes.
  3. Be aware of where snakes are typically found. Snakes are cold-blooded, so they like to come out when it’s warm and sun themselves. The like the sunny pavement, cliff edges, and rock walls. Snakes also tend to be near water, especially if it’s an otherwise dry environment. If you’re in an area near a spring or a swamp, keep an extra eye out.
  4. There are times when the frequency of snake sightings goes up. This is in the spring and summer. Snakes hibernate in the winter so come spring time, they disperse into territories for the breeding season.
  1. If you should happen to get bit, there’s basically nothing you can do in the field. You just need to get to a hospital for a treatment with anti-venom. But know that even if a snake is venomous, they don’t inflict a lot of venom in their bites; they’re just being defensive, not trying to kill you.
    The main signs and symptoms are pain and swelling. Transport gingerly—the less movement, the better. Being calm is important! (Is being calm even possible??)

If all else fails, try to remember, like any wild animal, snakes are more afraid of you than you are of them…unless you’re like me…in that case, you are DEFINATLEY more afraid of snakes than they are of you, so just run…FAST!!!

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