We all know that running is a beneficial activity. Whether you’re trying to improve your health, lose weight, boost confidence, or relieve anxiety and depression, running is one of the best habits to build. There are many success stories one can find online about people having defeated severe addictions through running, or running to prevent disease. Running is a means of self-care, and self-care should always be encouraged. But are you staying safe while running?
Unfortunately, it’s not always easy to find a time a time and a place for self-care, especially when it comes to running. There are so many factors to consider, such as your schedule, the weather, the condition of your body, when to eat, the best area for running, and so on. All those things are enough to worry about on their own, but safety is a concern that people should consider first and foremost before diving into a running routine.
Gyms and treadmills work for some, but the joys and benefits of running outside can be preferable to others. While we should all be able to run wherever and whenever we want, it can be nerve-racking to put ourselves outside, especially at night, and for good reasons. We see stories all over the media of people getting mugged, kidnapped, and even killed on the streets when they least expect it. There is a culture of constant fear these stories of violence trigger, and however unpleasant that may make our lives, the fear is based on rational deduction. We should naturally have our guards up, but we shouldn't have to be afraid. There seems to be a battle going on, and that battle is between ever existing crime and ever increasing awareness.
The good news: violent crime rates in America have generally been decreasing. According to factcheck.org’s assessment in July of 2016, crime numbers have significantly dropped in several major cities compared to numbers recorded decades ago. Five years worth of more recent violent criminal offenses observed by the FBI's UCR were tallied up and revealed a significantly decreasing trend. Again, awesome news, but this doesn’t change the fact that violent crimes are still occurring on a large scale and we need to do everything we can to keep ourselves safe and secure.
Champion National Security is in the business of security, and we’re all about spreading awareness for the greater good, which is protection for all citizens. While awareness can sometimes be paralyzing, we hope that the awareness we spread and security solutions we offer will move people to a greater sense of safety and freedom.
Here are some pointers that we hope keep you alert and secure so that you can take care of yourself in confidence.
Safety Tip 1: Time of Day
It’s always wise to run where you are visible to the public. That said, being discerning about the time of day you choose to run is a smart tactic to keep yourself secure. Avoid areas you are not familiar with, and areas like backroads that are not heavily populated or well-lit. If you are seen and surrounded by people, chances are you will not be targeted by someone who is plotting to attack.
If you prefer to be a night runner, running against the flow of traffic is advised. We busy roads, if lights of vehicles are shining on you, you’re noticed by others, thus less likely to be targeted by a predator. Wearing reflectors is highly recommended, as well. You need not only protect yourself from lurking predators, but from getting hit by vehicles! Wearing reflectors serves to avoid the risks of both.
Safety Tip 2: Stay Connected
Cover your bases. Always be sure to tell at least one person where you’re going if you decide to leave the house without telling at least one person where you’re going. Or, invite them to run with you! Two people are more difficult to control than one, so running with a friend will certainly decrease your chances of being targeted. Safety is greater in numbers.
If running with a buddy isn’t feasible for you, don’t lose hope! Technology is available to increase our awareness and add a greater level of security to our individual lives. There are many tracking apps out there that take advantage of GPS technology to respond quickly to emergency situations. The “Companion” app is a free, student-designed app that was built to Read this article by Babble to see more about how it works. The idea is to have a virtual friend walk with you who is monitoring your travels for times you’re walking alone and feel nervous. You can find the app here and here and download it for free!
Check out these other great apps, which are available for Android and iPhone.
Safety Tip 3: Remain Observant
Awareness is so important. Keep your eyes open and listen to your senses.
Music is such a great tool to keep the ball rolling, but it would be safer to ditch the headphones if you’re not in the gym or at home on a treadmill. In order to be aware, it is essential to decrease distractions. Music blaring in our ears puts a damper on our natural ability to pick up on unusual activity in our environment and react appropriately.
Being aware of our surroundings curtails vulnerability, but being aware of our own habits and routine gives us even more of a security advantage. If there is the possibility of an assailant spying on you and taking note of your route and schedule, you can outsmart them by changing things up.
The stress of staying safe should not keep you from enjoying the benefits of running. While there are always threats to our livelihood, fighting those threats by using our knowledge and tools to defend ourselves make the world a better place and empower our community. Stay out of harm’s way by being aware, alert, connected, and informed on valuable technology. As your leading expert in security services and solutions, we are confident that our tips will empower you to run freely and confidently, wherever and whenever you want.