Jogging has become so popular lately that you often can’t drive one city block without seeing someone training for a marathon. It’s a healthy form of exercise that keeps your mind sharp and your muscles lean, but while you’re on that euphoric jogger’s high, don’t forget the fundamental rules of jogging safety.
- Stay on the sidewalk. If you’re running in a rural area or if the sidewalks are hazardous due to ice or construction, always run facing traffic.
- Don’t listen to music in isolated areas. That workout mix on your iPod may be motivating, but it also distracts your gut feeling. Earphones also keep you from hearing oncoming traffic.
- Avoid jogging in the early hours or at night.
- Consider your clothing. Wear reflective or light colors and proper footwear to avoid injury.
- If you plan to run several miles from home, carry bus change or pay phone money (if you don’t take a cell phone with you). This comes in handy if you end up spraining your ankle. You can slip a couple of dollars into a sock to avoid losing it.
- Always double-tie your shoelaces to avoid trips.
- Switch up your routine. Never run the same route more than a few times. Assailants who stalk victims beforehand have been known to map out their daily running patterns so they know where and when to lay in wait for an attack.
If you feel like a car is slowing down to follow you, turn around and run back in the direction from which you just came. This makes it difficult for the vehicle to continue following you. If your instinct tells you not to turn around, calmly enter a public building or crowded area. Watch the driver to see if he reacts in a way that indicates you were being followed and, if so, call the police to report the incident.