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8 Really Sensible but Frequently Ignored Safety Tips for Joggers

Jogging is an extremely popular form of aerobic exercise. Unfortunately, we've all seen stories about joggers being mugged, assaulted, or worse. If you'd like to prevent yourself from becoming another statistic, take heed of these precautions.

1. Leave it Home

To make yourself a less desirable target, don't carry valuables such as your wallet, watch, cell phone and jewelry (including your wedding ring) when running. 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 choose you.

2. Safety in Numbers

Criminals prefer solitary victims. Jog with friends if possible. If you own a dog, take him along. The exercise is great for him, and it's another problem for a would-be attacker. If you aren't able to go jogging with other people, at least tell someone (preferably someone who lives with you) what route you are taking and when you expect to be back.

3. Follow the Light

If your schedule only permits you to jog before sunrise or after sunset, be sure to stick to streets with lots of street lights. Also, streets with high volumes of traffic increase the chance of a criminal being identified or apprehended, and they know that.

4. Mix it Up

Don't jog the exact same route at the same time every day. Many criminals like to plan an assault in advance, and you're making it too easy for them if they know they'll see you at a certain location at a specific time each day.

5. Stay In the Clear

Wooded areas or urban settings with a lot of parked vehicles, dumpsters, mailboxes, alleys, and other visual barriers can be perfect hiding places for all kinds of evildoers. When you're out in the open you can see what's around you, which gives you the time to react appropriately should someone approach you in a suspicious manner.

6. Go Against the Flow

Run so that you are facing the vehicle traffic, whether you're jogging in the street or on the sidewalk. This will allow you to assess any car approaching you for potential danger.

7. Pay Attention

Visually scan every approaching person or vehicle, remaining aware of any suspicious behavior. Listen for cars decelerating or speeding up for no apparent reason.

8. Uncover Your Ears

In tip number 1, we suggested that you not carry an expensive radio or media player. But we would very strongly advise you not to carry any device that requires wearing headphones at all. It's very easy for someone to sneak up behind you unbeknownst to you if your ears are filled with music. Additionally, there are dangers from cars and bicyclists if you remove your hearing from the equation. If you absolutely must have music when running, consider sticking to the treadmill.

Please take these tips to heart. Just implementing a few simple precautions can make a big difference as to whether or not a criminal decides you're fair game.

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