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Exercise

Stay Safe While Jogging

Jogging is a great way to stay fit, but you also need to be aware of your surroundings to avoid attackers and other hazards. Here, from defense expert Steve Kardian, are tips to help you avoid dangerous situations:

Know Your Route. Being familiar with your route will help you identify abnormalities or deviations in what should be expected. Every environment, and every person, has what is known as a baseline of what is normal noise and behavior. Note any changes, such as a car repeatedly driving by or an unknown person or a hazard along your route. Stay alert and don’t be taken by surprise when there is a change.

Pay Attention to Your Surroundings. In order to identify potential danger or a hazard, you need to monitor your surroundings. It’s another way of saying keep your guard up, but it’s not about being hyper vigilant or paranoid. Think of it like a low-level hum of mental activity, like when you look both ways before crossing the street. As you jog, don’t zone out and get lost in thought. Scan your surroundings, and be aware of who and what is around you, including behind you.

Listen to Your Intuition. Intuition is knowing something without knowing why. If you get an uneasy feeling about someone or something, heed that internal warning. 80% of your brain is dedicated to the subconscious and you are constantly receiving input that could alert you to a danger. Do a tactical pause and ask yourself, how does my body feel? An intuitive feeling could reveal itself by an uneasy sensation in your gut or the hair on the back of your neck standing up or a lump in your throat.

Don’t Give Away Your Auditory Power. If you wear earbuds, you will not be able to take in sounds that may identify a danger or hazardous situation. The brain processes sound much faster than the eyes, as much as 20 to 100 times faster. Listen for noise behind you, and don’t text or chat on the phone while running. If you must wear earbuds, I suggest that you use only one ear bud to give you a slightly better advantage.

Carry a self-defense device. Check with your local police department to see if you are legally allowed to carry such devices as pepper spray.

Steve Kardian has spent more than thirty years as a career law enforcement officer. He is a certified New York State/FBI defensive tactics instructor and an expert on the criminal mind. Kardian is the author of The New Superpower for Women and founder of Defend University, where he trains people on safety and self-defense, as well as strategies and tactics uniquely tailored to women’s safety.