“Residents in one Worcester County town are now being urged to stay on-guard after a woman was found slain in the woods after she disappeared while jogging,” reports Western Mass News. Here are 7 crucial running safety tips to provide you and your loved ones with peace of mind while on the trail.
1. Only run when its light out.
Crime rates decrease dramatically when it’s light out. In fact, murder and rape decrease 43% and 56%, respectively, in that extra hour of sun during daylight savings (Stanford University)
2. Run with a buddy.
There’s safety in numbers. A running companion is a built-in witness, and someone who can help you fend off a potential attacker. Criminals know this well and will be more likely to leave you alone.
3. Pan your path carefully.
Check police blotters and stick to low crime areas with plenty of people around.
4. Vary your routine.
An attacker wants you to be predictable. By varying your route and routine, you keep potential criminals guessing about where you’ll be and when you’ll be there.
5. Minimize earbud noise.
It’s best to run with no earbuds at all, so that you can hear if anyone is approaching you. If you do choose to run to music or an audiobook, listen with one ear only.
6. Remain present and scan the area.
It’s easy to fall into ‘autopilot’ mode, especially when you’re taking a route you’ve traveled before. Make it a point to remain present and scan the area, so that you’re always aware of what’s going on around you.
7. Carry a personal safety device.
Be prepared for a worst-case scenario with an athletic pepper spray, pepper gel, or personal alarm. Remember that while health is important, so is your safety! Don’t take it lightly – protect yourself!