Jogging, hiking and walking can be fun, healthful and safe when you take precautions.
Everyone that exercises by walking, hiking or jogging needs to be aware of certain crime prevention safety tips geared exclusively for them. Each of these activities is a very safe pursuit and you can make it even safer with a few precautions and a little knowledge. These guidelines will give you some suggestions on how to both avoid confrontation and behave skillfully if you are faced with a dangerous situation.
Don't Wear Headsets
Use your ears to be aware of your surroundings. When you use headphones you lose the use of an important sense: your hearing.
Be Alert and Aware of What's Going On Around You
People who have been attacked often say the same two things: “I never saw it coming” and “It happened so fast”. Awareness, like any other skill, is developed through practice. It starts simply by knowing what is going on around you and knowing who is around you. Be aware of your environment. Are there blind spots, shrubs or bushes where someone could hide? If so, stay away from such areas. Understand this: A distracted individual is an easy target.
Trust Your Intuition
React to your intuition and avoid a person or situation if you’re uncomfortable or unsure. If something tells you a situation is not “right” - it isn’t.
Vary Your Pattern of Activity
Don’t become “predictable” in your walking, hiking or jogging route. Develop routes within your area of familiarity and randomly use them as you exercise.
Exercise with a Known Companion
Enjoy the companionship of a friend or family member as you exercise. The presence of a second person is a very strong deterrent against criminal conduct. You may want to take your dog with you as you enjoy your exercise activity.
Tell Someone Where You Are Going
Tell friends and family members where you will be going and the anticipated time frame of your exercise activity.
Ignore Verbal Harassment
Use discretion in acknowledging strangers. Don’t be drawn into a verbal altercation. Look directly and confidently at others and be observant, but keep your distance and keep moving.
Carry a Noisemaker
Carry a whistle or shrill alarm to summon help and scare away an assailant, if needed. A variety of personal alarms are available for use while walking, hiking or jogging.
Carry a Cellphone
Always have a cell phone with you and available for summoning help. Be mindful of your surroundings and remember that cell phone service is limited in some areas. Don’t allow the use of your cell phone to distract you and leave you vulnerable
Don't Be Embarrassed to Seek Help
If you think you are being followed or you feel threatened in any manner—seek help! Go the nearest house or group of people and call the Police.
One thing that we need to remember is that no one is immune to crime. Crime does not always happen to the “other guy”. It could happen to you. By being aware and implementing these safety precautions you can reduce