I recently moved across the country to a new city. I love it, but I'm far from my family and friends. The distance can sometimes make them nervous, especially when I go for a run by myself in the evening or early morning before work. But now, there's a new tool that can help alleviate some of their concern.
Strava, a fitness app that's popular among athletes, just released a feature called Strava Beacon that can provide peace of mind during outdoor workouts like running, biking, or hiking. Beacon lets you share your location with three designated "safety contacts" before starting a workout (they don't need to be Strava users or even live in the same city as you). Once you share your location with them, they'll receive a text message with a link to a map where they can track your movements in real-time. Also good: Safety contacts can see how much battery you have left on your phone—so if it were to die, your BFFs would know your most recent whereabouts. (Phew!)
In addition to the obvious safety benefits, Beacon can also make workouts more social. Your contacts have access to fitness stats, such as when you started and completed a workout or how far you ran, so you and a fitness buddy can use it to keep each other accountable. And the GPS feature makes it easy to meet up with friends mid-workout, exercise together virtually from different cities, or let your cheering squad track you during a race.