Seven Safety Tips for Joggers

By Charles Hopkins Published 07/6/2006 | Fitness
Jogging is a popular form of exercise during the warmer months of the year. However, the news often runs stories about joggers being mugged, assaulted, or worse. Here are some precautions you can take to prevent you from becoming another statistic:

1. Take or Tell a Friend

A group of 2-3 people increases the likelihood of identification, so thugs prefer victims who are alone. If you own a dog, take him along for your run. He'll enjoy the exercise, and it's one more complication for any attacker. If you aren't able to go jogging with anyone else, at least tell someone (preferably someone who lives with you) when you are leaving, what route you are taking and when you expect to return.

2. Travel Light

To make yourself a less-profitable target, leave your wallet, cellular phone, watch, jewelry, and even your wedding ring at home. Likewise, if you do like to jog to music, don't carry a super-expensive radio or media player with you. If you aren't carrying anything of value, thieves will have one less reason to accost you.

3. Use Different Routes

Don't jog the exact same route, especially if you jog around the same time every day. Many criminals prefer to plot an assault in advance, and if they know they can expect to see you on a specific street at a specific time each day, it will be much easier for them to plan an attack.

4. Stay Out In the Open

Wooded areas or urban settings with a lot of dumpsters, mailboxes, alleys, and other obstructions are the perfect hiding places for all kinds of thieves and muggers. When you're in an open space you can see everyone around you and have time to react appropriately if someone is approaching you in a suspicious manner.

5. Stay in Well-Lit, Busy Areas

If your schedule only permits you to jog after sunset, be sure to stick to streets with streetlamps. In addition, streets with lots of traffic, automobile or human, increase the chance of a criminal being identified or apprehended and are often avoided.

6. Jog against Traffic

Whether on the side of the road or a sidewalk, you should be running so that you are facing the cars coming up the street. This will allow you to assess any car approaching you for potential danger.

7. Pay Attention to Your Surroundings

Scan every approaching person or vehicle with your eyes, being on the lookout for any suspicious behavior. Listen for cars slowing down or accelerating for no discernable reason. It's better not to wear headphones at all, but if you do, keep the volume low enough to hear what's going on around you.

As you can see, just taking few simple precautions beforehand can make a big difference as to whether or not a criminal chooses you as a target for his crime.