Staying healthy and active is great throughout the fall season, especially before winter weather forces you to stay inside. If you enjoy being active, and often run or jog outside, it’s important to be mindful of your safety, especially if you run alone. So, before hitting the road for your next jog, read over and keep in mind these six safety tips:
1. Run in public and popular areas.
When you go for a run, choose populated and public areas. Avoid running in secluded areas, as ”it can be life-saving to go the extra mile and stay on a path with other people around, rather than taking a shortcut through dark, empty streets or isolated areas in a park,” according to CNN.
2. Bring a friend.
If you often run alone, consider joining a running club or asking a friend to tag along. And, if that doesn’t work, bring along a furry friend as your protector from potential attackers.
3. Share your location.
Do you have an iPhone or Android? Instead of leaving a note on the fridge, you can download an app that shares your location with friends and family while you’re out for a run. One app is Strava, which has a safety feature called Beacon that allows your family and friends to stay updated via live text message alerts. Another app is bSafe. This app acts as a siren, records video, alerts authorities, and tells your GPS location.
Make note: One place you should not share your location is on social media. Sharing your location via social media can make you an easier target for potential attackers to track your location publicly via geotags.
4. Unplug (the headphones) and be aware.
Lose the headphones and get a portable speaker so you won’t lose out on listening to your favorite playlist on your next run. When you wear headphones, it makes you an easy target for attackers and distracts you from your surroundings, as well. Along with headphones, avoid wearing hoodies because they block your peripheral vision. Instead, make yourself visible by wearing reflective gear such as pants, shirts, and tights, along with a reflective vest and headlamp later in the evening for night runners.
5. Run with confidence.
Don’t keep your head down and zone out while you run. Instead, look up, make eye contact with people you pass, and hold a strong posture while you’re running. This makes you look less vulnerable and will also let potential attackers know you are aware of their presence.
6. Alter your route.
Change up your routine when you go for a jog. If you run the same route every day, you can become an easy target for stalkers. By altering your route, it makes it harder for potential attackers to keep track of you and allows you to stay alert.
Following a few best practices will help ensure your well-being and keep you protected from potential threats of attackers on your next run. Remember: You don’t need to run in fear. You simply need to take precautions, be prepared, and run smart.