With everything that has happened here in the UK recently with the murder of Sarah Everard, it’s more important than ever to make sure you’re staying safe. Exercising alone can be so invigorating and great for the mind. So, how can we stay safe while exercising alone?
While exercising outdoors alone, for the most part, is very safe in most countries, there are still some risks to take in to consideration.
It has been reported by Runner’s World, 43% of women who run alone have been harassed, 30% have been followed, 18% have been propositioned sexually in some way, and 3% have reported being assaulted. However, note that these are worldwide statistics, you’re area might be much safer than this.
There are risks with most things you do in life, even crossing the road could be deadly. It’s about taking as much care as you can to ensure you’re as safe as possible. You can’t stop doing the things you love due to the fear of something possibly happening. Here are our top tips on how you can stay safer while exercising alone…
Inform Someone You Trust
Before you go out for your run, walk alone, tell someone exactly where you are going and roughly how long you plan to be. If it’s someone you don’t live with, make sure you let them know when you’re leaving and when you get back.
Also, make sure you either tell them the route you’re doing or show them. Perhaps if you have an app such as Find My Phone, you could give them access to be able to see your exact location. That way you know if something does happen and you stray off the route, they can call for help and see where you are.
Change Your Route & Time
Make sure you mix up the routes you’re doing, and if possible, the time you go out. The more you can vary where you go, the less likely you’ll become a target.
However, if you’re planning to go out o a run or walk you haven’t done before, try to go with someone else the first time you do it. Only go out by yourself in areas you’re familiar with and know the area.
Going out for a walk or run with your headphones in, listening to your favourite podcast or playlist seems like a great idea. However, if you’re doing this alone, either make sure you have the volume down low, or have one headphone out. This ensures you can hear your surroundings better and watch out for any signs of danger.
Take A Pet With You
Although it’s unlikely if someone truly wants to attack you a pet will stop them, they might deter an opportunist. If you don’t have a pet yourself, perhaps you could offer to take your friend/neighbour’s pet out for a walk for them.
Going out by yourself during the day would be a much better option. However, if this isn’t possible, or you just prefer the evenings, make sure you stay as visible as possible. Get yourself a high-vis jacket, or some reflective clothing to ensure people can see you clearly.
being sensible as your best form of staying safe. Obviously stay away from dark alley-ways, or secluded areas such as parks. Another great tips for ensuring your safety is to run against traffic. Running towards the traffic means you can see what’s coming and makes it harder for vehicles to creep up behind you.
While going out alone, whatever it might be you’re doing, or the time of day. You should always make sure you take your phone with you. Just incase something does happen, but also so that people can see where you are on any tracking app. In the unlikely-hood of an accident happening, it will also make it easier for the emergency services to contact someone to let them know, and to find out who you are.
Study Self Defence
You could consider taking a few self defence classes. Learn a few tricks to help you get out of a sticky situation.
Not only will you gain skills to protect yourself, you could also learn general safety tips, and boost your confidence for exercising alone at the same time.
If exercising alone is what you love to do, then don’t let fear stop you, just be as safe as you possibly can be. However, if you really don’t feel comfortable exercising alone, perhaps you could join a walking/running group instead?!
The Fitness Focus Team