For women jogging, there are certain safety precautions that should be followed as protection. In general, most safety rules are just common sense. But the constant need to stay in shape and get things done quickly can over-ride smart decision making, and personal safety can be a side thought at times.
1. Share Your Itinerary:
Let someone know where you are running, and approximately how long you will be. This way, a friend or family member will be aware when you are gone longer than expected, and they will also know where to look for you.
Remember to stick to your own itinerary and let your "watch" person know if your running routine or schedule has changed. You don't want someone sending out a search party because you decided to stop at the store or a coffee shop on the way home.
2. Mix it Up:
Try to vary your jogging routes as much as possible. Following the same route every day makes it easier for stalkers to target women jogging alone.
Always following the same route may also cause you to become too comfortable with your surroundings so that you are less alert to warning signs.
Make sure to map out several routes and mix them up, and if you have to jog the same route every day, try to vary the times so your schedule is not so predictable.
3. Run in the Daylight:
Studies show that it is much safer for women to jog when it is light out. It is less likely that attackers will try anything in the daylight. If you want to explore nature trails or jog in secluded areas, make sure to go in the daylight and take other people with you.
4. Carry a Cellphone:
Always have your cell phone with you and make sure it is easily accessible and fully charged so you can contact someone immediately if you sense trouble. If you don't want to carry the phone in your pocket, you can use a belt clip or arm band. Having some form of communication is never a bad idea.
5. Safety in Numbers:
There is safety in numbers, so it is good advice to avoid jogging alone. Make the extra effort to find a friend or family member to run with you. Besides the safety factor, running with others can provide motivation incentive.
6. Limit the Music:
Good tunes with a strong beat can inspire you to push yourself a little harder, but music can also shut out many of the noises around you.
Try using only one headphone and have the other ear attuned to your surroundings. This will not only increase your reaction time in case of danger, but it will also make you more aware of traffic.
7. Carry Pepper Spray or Mace:
First, it is important to note that it is not legal to carry mace and pepper spray everywhere. So make sure to check with police officials in your city or county to make sure exactly what you can carry legally.
These substances can be highly effective weapons for women jogging alone. You can buy tiny cans that easily fit on a strap to your wrists, or one that fits into a small pocket.
8. Take Self Defense Classes:
One of the most important elements of taking a self defense class is the confidence you build as well as the verbal and physical protection skills.
One of the best training skills is the mental awareness to anticipate the warning signs of an assault. Most communities offer basic self-defense classes that will teach you simple moves that could help reduce the odds of an assault.
9. Carry a Whistle or Alarm:
Whistles or another type of alarm are a great idea for women jogging. They are lightweight and can be worn comfortably around your neck, wrist, or on a retractable string that clips to your waistband.
10. Stay Alert:
For women jogging longer distances, it can be easy to “zone out”, but it is important that you stay aware of your surroundings at all times.
Being attuned to what is going on around you will help you recognize any potential problems and hopefully give you plenty of time to react. Your eyes, ears, and intuition can be some of your greatest sources of protection.
For the most part, women know what to do to keep themselves safe. Trust your instincts and always be aware of your surroundings. Stay away from "out of the way" wooded areas unless you are with a group of runners. Make sure if you are running alone that someone knows that you are out running and that you will check in at some point.
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I will continue to share ideas about diet and exercise that have helped me along the way. If you have any questions I can help you with, or ideas you would like to share, feel free to contact me or visit our Q&A forum