In light of the recent kidnapping and murder of school teacher and runner, Eliza Fletcher, it is more important now than ever to begin implementing some critical safety tips into your exercise routine. Learn how to address the three biggest threats to your safety and defend yourself while you enjoy your daily fitness outdoors.

APR 03, 2017

Active Lifestyle safety tips defense divas womens self defense

“Keep one earbud out so that you can remain aware of your surroundings while on your morning run.”

Safety Tips for Your Active Lifestyle

With the weather warming and longer daylight in most parts of the country, Spring is in the air! This is the time of year when a lot of us break out our running shoes and go for evening walks or morning jogs.

While it may be tempting to zone out as you are hiking up a wooded trail or turn up your ear buds as you are hammering down the street- this mindless state can leave your safety compromised. Keep yourself running, happy and secure with these active lifestyle safety tips from our experts.

⭐Danger: Human Attackers⭐

Running in pairs is the ideal way to avoid being a victim. However, if you prefer to run alone there are several simple precautions you can take to reduce the odds of you becoming a target.

·         Keep one earbud out when listening to your iTunes. This allows you to hear someone approaching you at a rapid pace and keeps you more attuned to your surroundings.

·         Wear Kuba-Kickz in your running shoes. These simple, light weight items fit comfortably under the laces of your favorite shoes and are extremely effective if you need to kick an attacker and escape. And best of all, they keep your hands free while still protecting you.

·         Always let someone know where you are going to be running and how long you expect to be there. If you are gone any longer than expected, emergency assistance can be sent to your location. Download one of these 3 free safety apps that you can use to let people know where you are if an emergency occurs.

·         Change up your route and the time of day that you exercise. Mixing up your routine keeps your patterns unpredictable to a stalker and potential attacker.

·         If you are attacked by an individual, lie lie lie! Tell the attacker that you have HIV. Tell the attacker that your husband is the Chief of Police. Tell the attacker anything that might make them think twice before assaulting you.

“Don't smile at a stray dog in an attempt to de-escalate his aggressiveness. Showing your teeth is a sign of aggression in dog language. ”

⭐Danger: Dogs and Wild Animals⭐

There are few things more disconcerting to a runner than coming “face-to-snout” with a growling dog. Contrary to your flight instincts, the best thing to do if you see a dog engaging is to stop running. 

Make yourself “large”. Lower the tone of your voice and speak forcefully, deep and loud. Looking the dog square in the eyes send the non-verbal signal: “I am not afraid!”. Most often, this will stop a dog in his tracks. We also recommend carrying pepper spray on your run to use for protection. It is non-lethal and safe to both animals and humans and can be deployed up to 12 feet away, depending on the model.

To humans, smiling is a welcoming gesture. To dogs, smiling shows your teeth and signals aggression on your part. Don't smile and try to talk your way around an aggressive dog. Stay calm, dominant and non-challenging to avoid escalating the situation.

If you are running the trails it is best to carry a pepper spray or animal repellent while you run in case you are approached by a wild/rabid dog or other wild animal such as bear, mountain lion, etc. Any of the key chain pepper sprays are convenient to attach somewhere on your body that doesn’t restrict your running.

There’s also a really cool jogging pepper spray glove that fits right over your hand so you don’t have to grip the pepper spray the entire time you are exercising outdoors.
defense divas instafire xtreme pink pepper spray jogging mace glove pepper spray glove in hand

⭐Danger: Cars⭐

Now, more than ever, drivers are distracted with smartphones, texting and many more things while they are driving. We suggest running on off-road trails or in parks. It is much safer and the bonus is that its’ easier on your knees than asphalt.

If you do stick to the streets, always run on the left side of the road- towards oncoming traffic. If the driver doesn’t see you, you’ll definitely see the driver.

During low light hours (in the early morning and evening) wear reflective clothing accessories to make yourself more visible to drivers.


⭐Self-Defense Weapon⭐

In addition to these safety precautions, a self-defense weapon should be carried whenever you run, hike or bike solo. Fortunately, manufacturers are designing self-defense weapons specifically designed for those with an active lifestyle.

As mentioned above, Kuba-Kickz are an excellent addition to any runner's safety plan because they keep your hands totally free while you exercise while adding extreme defense to your kick.

Pepper spray is a better option than a stun gun if you are concerned about stray dogs in the neighborhood. The Instafire Xtreme mace glove slips comfortably over your hand like a glove and secures a powerful (and replaceable) pepper spray. Runners love the lightweight and hands-free carry of this self-defense weapon.

Stun guns can also now be found designed specifically for joggers and follow the same design concept: keeping your grip free to move around while you are exercising. The Sting Ring stun gun is the lightest and smallest of the models. Simply slip the ring around your middle finger and go. Your self-defense weapon will be right at your fingertips if you need it to protect yourself.

Take these few simple precautions to ensure that you are prepared to handle any dangerous attacker, human or not, on your run. By changing up your routine, being aware of your surroundings and carrying a self-defense weapon you will greatly reduce the risks to your safety.


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Copyright©2017 All rights reserved. This article or any portion thereof may not be reproduced or used in any manner whatsoever without the express written permission of Defense Divas®.

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