You like to run, right? (I’m assuming so.) But you also like to feel safe, I’m sure. Those two things are not mutually exclusive. You can run solo with the confidence that you’ll be safe. As a woman, I often feel like the cards are stacked against me being able to run solo, especially when traveling, so I wanted to share these tips fromm Krav Maga Worldwide, a global leader in personal defense training, on how runners can protect themselves.
These tips aren’t just for running, either. Whether you’re picking up your dog after work from doggy day care, walking to the grocery store, or just enjoying the sunshine on your lunch break, being aware of your surroundings is vital to personal safety. Here we go — and add your suggestions as a comment!
- Give yourself a refresher on the basics. It’s important to follow basic safety tips when going out for a jog, a walk with your dog, or just going about your day. Always wearing reflective or bright colored gear, avoid going out during early morning and late evening hours and staying in well-lit areas that are near houses or stores in case you need to yell for help can all help assist in keeping you safe.
- Keep your guard up. It is easy to fall into a comfortable groove with the same routine or taking the same route every day, but assailants can choose any day to attack. It is important to never get too comfortable, stay aware of your surroundings and trust your intuition if something feels off. It also helps to mix up your routine and take a different, but safe, way to work or jogging route.
- Stick together. Join a group run or just a buddy or two. Most attackers are looking for easy targets, and there is safety in numbers. Even when running, in a group, though, you need to be aware of your surroundings.
- Exude the right body language. Confident body language signals that you are a tough target can deter an attack before it begins. Hold a posture with your back straight and chin up. Keep a balanced stance and walk with a sense of destination. Make eye contact to show that you are aware of who/what is around you. And, keep your hands out of clothing pockets.
- Use assertive verbal skills. This reinforces confident body language and strength and draws attention from bystanders. It can be accomplished by using short, clear, declarative statements. Volume can range from speaking firmly and clearly to yelling, depending on the situation.
- Physical training is ideal. Practicing how to fend off an attacker will help you feel empowered, strong and confident and the more often you can train, the better. Training will not only give you the physical skills necessary to defend yourself against attacks, but also increase the effectiveness of your body language and verbal skills. If you cannot seem to fit classes into your schedule, Krav Maga Worldwide offers online courses that you can do in your living room.