Safety Tips for Runners and Walkers

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Tips for protecting yourself from assault, theft,  and other crime while exercising

Clear your head, but don’t forget your surroundings. Runners and joggers can sometimes become so engrossed in their regimen that they forget there may be those who would do them harm. While relaxing, try to pay attention
to your environment in order to avoid being a victim of a crime.

Runners, walkers, bikers … lots of people are out there
these days working to stay fit and get in shape. It’s healthy,
good for you, and an inexpensive way to maintain a regular
exercise regimen. While you’re working out, you want to stay
safe…and here we offer you a few tips on doing just that!
Before You Leave
»» PLAN your outing. ALWAYS tell a family member or
friend where you are going and when you will return.
Let them know what your favorite exercise routes are.
»» KNOW where telephones are located along the course, or
carry a cellular phone with you.
»» WEAR an identification tag or carry a driver’s license.
If you don’t have a place to carry your ID, write your
name, phone number and blood type on the inside of
your athletic shoe. Include ANY important medical
information.
»» DON’T wear jewelry or carry cash.
»» WEAR reflective material so motorists can see you more
easily.
On the Road
»» STAY ALERT at all times. The more aware you are, the less
vulnerable you are.
»» Run, walk, or bike with a partner or a dog.
»» DON’T wear headsets. If you wear them you won’t hear
an approaching car or attacker. LISTEN to your surroundings.
»» Exercise in familiar areas. KNOW which businesses or
stores are open.
»» VARY your route. That way, a potential attacker won’t get to
know your routine.
»» AVOID unpopulated areas, deserted streets, and overgrown
trails. ESPECIALLY avoid poorly-lit areas at night

»» RUN CLEAR of parked cars or bushes. Run AGAINST traffic
so you can observe approaching automobiles.
»» TRUST your intuition about a person or an area. It you are
unsure about an area, or feel unsafe, leave immediately.
»» IGNORE verbal harassment. Use discretion in acknowledging
strangers. Look directly at others and be observant,
but keep your distance and keep moving.
»» BE CAREFUL if anyone in a car asks you for directions – if
you answer, keep at least a full arm’s length from the car.
»» If you think you are being followed, CHANGE DIRECTION
and head for open stores, theaters or a lighted house.
»» Have your door key READY before you reach your home.
»» CALL POLICE IMMEDIATELY if something happens to you or
someone else, or you notice anyone out of the ordinary.
It’s also a good idea to check with police about any
criminal activity in the area you plan to run/walk/bike.

Stay Alert!
Sometimes runners and walkers get lulled into a “zone”
where they are so focused on their exercise they lose track
of what’s going on around them. This state can make runners
and walkers more vulnerable to attacks. Walk and run
with confidence and purpose. If you get bored running
without music, practice identifying characteristics of
strangers and memorizing license tags to keep you from
“zoning out.”
Going in the Evening or Early Morning
You didn’t get a chance to exercise during daylight hours,
and you still want to get in that “daily routine” before calling
it a night, or before the sun rises. When exercising while it’s
dark, the best advice is to get off the streets and go for the
security of a well-lighted outdoor track or consider running
on an indoor track or tread mill. If these options don’t work
for you, consider the following tips before you head out:
»» MAKE SURE people can see you. Think about where you
are going and how well lighted it may or may not be.
»» Going out at dusk or at night is dangerous without some
type of reflective device on your clothing. Many athletic
shoes have reflective qualities built in, but also consider
a vest complete with reflective tape.
»» WATCH THE ROAD: wet or icy spots are considerably harder
to see in the dark.
»» KEEP ALERT! Dawn and dusk offer convenient shadows
for muggers and other crooks.
When You’re Away from Home
Many people who exercise like the idea of maintaining
their regimen when they are traveling. But remember, just
because you are away from home doesn’t mean you can let
your guard down when you exercise.
»» Check with the hotel staff or concierge to find safe
routes for exercise. If there is not an acceptable place to
exercise outdoors, see if the hotel can arrange access to a
health club or gym.
»» Become familiar with your exercise course before you
start. Get a map and study it.
»» Remember the street address of the hotel. Carry a card
with your hotel address along with your personal ID.
»» Leave your room key with the front desk.
»» Follow your usual safety rules.

You should also think about obtaining Road ID provides premier line of identification tags that includes runner id, jogger id, cyclist id, medical id, bicycling id, emergency medical id bracelet and more. Click on the RoadID for more information.

I couldn’t remember important information the medical staff needed, like the names of my medications, allergies , past medical .  Fortunately, all the answers were strapped to my ankle, thanks to my Road ID!

 

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