FOR women jogging, the experience should be all about the freedom and enjoyment of the outdoors to help you lose weight, get in shape and build self-confidence.
Share your itinerary:
Let someone know where you are running and 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 the person know if your plans change.
Mix it up:
Try to vary your jogging routes. Following the same route every day makes it easier for stalkers to target you and may also cause you to become too comfortable with your surroundings so that you are less alert to warning signs.
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.
Try to run toward traffic whenever possible, it is easier to react quickly to a slowing or suspicious vehicle if you can see it coming.
Run in daylight:
Studies do show that it is much safer to jog when it is light out. It is less likely that attackers will try anything in 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. Don’t borrow trouble by jogging these routes alone.
For women jogging alone, choose populated areas where you can be seen and heard, and if you are running at dawn or in the evening, remember to wear reflective gear. For women jogging at night, choose a well-lit route in a safer area of town.
Carry a cellphone:
Always have your cell phone with you and make sure it is easily accessible 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.
Limit the music:
Good tunes with a strong beat can inspire you to push yourself a little harder, but music can also shut out all the noises around you so you can’t hear when an attacker approaches.
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 so you can keep a safe distance from motorists.
Carry mace or pepper spray:
These substances can be very effective weapons for women jogging alone and you can buy small cans that strap to your wrists or fit easily into your pocket.
Carry a whistle or alarm:
For women jogging alone, whistles are a great idea. They are lightweight and can be worn comfortably around your neck, wrist, or on a retractable string that clips to your waistband. They will alert someone of trouble and may even scare perpetrators away.
You can also purchase small alarms that work just as effectively as whistles, but they are usually more costly.
Don’t run alone:
There is safety in numbers so it is good advice to avoid jogging alone. However, with busy schedules it is not always easy to find another person to jog with you.
If possible, take a dog on your run. If you don’t have your own, see if you can borrow one. While dogs will usually do a good job of protecting you, they are also a great deterrent to anyone thinking about approaching you in an unfriendly manner. And, they are often much quicker at sensing danger than you are.
While 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 in plenty of time to react. Your eyes, ears, and intuition can be your greatest sources of protection.
Take self-defence classes:
Most communities offer basic self-defence classes that will teach you simple moves that could save your life.
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