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Safety while walking/jogging

I would love to walk or jog outside more frequently than I do. I can't always make it to my gym, and a walking through my neighborhood is the perfect alternative. The one thing is in my neighborhood, while safe enough (police station is just down the road), I have been followed on at least one occasion and on another had a young man try to get me in his car (gave up out of boredom after my 16th "no."). I know some self defense from a year and a half of martial arts but I don't know if I could escape if one of these guys got more bold.

Ideally, I would go with a friend, but that is not always possible. My mom has a large Boxer now that I often take with me but when I return to school I need away to be able to go walking and feel safe.

Mon. Apr 23, 2:37pm

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can you ride a bike or drive to a busy park? take your cell phone with you and have 911 or another safety number saved in a speed dial? go only when it is light out?

I think being a woman we have these fears a lot-you see so many horrible stories on the news about abductions, rape, murder, muggings etc-it's hard to feel safe even in our own neighborhoods.

I would say that it's a great start that you have some martial arts training under your belt. And the fact that you are questioning your safety and looking for other ways to stay safe says that you are aware of your surroundings, which will help keep you away from danger. Perhaps you could take a self-defense class to make you feel more confident of your ability to defend yourself? A lot of colleges offer them for free or for a really cheap fee.

Monday, April 23, 2007, 2:56 PM

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so glad this thread is here!

I JUST read about an assault that took place near enough to one of my usual walk routes. Hmmm.

Perhaps carrying a whistle? Of course, always let someone know if you are walking late at night, and perhaps give them a call when you get back.

Monday, April 23, 2007, 3:32 PM

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Some things I follow when I go out for a jog :
- I always bring my phone with me
- I always stick to main roads
- I always go during the day , when a fair amount of people are around
- I avoid bike trails during the week , not enough people on them
- If possible I try and let someone know where I will be running and what time I should be back by
- I don't care if I seem like a freak , but I will cross the street and make it very obvious if someone makes me uncomfortable.
- If I run with my radio , I only have my headphones in one ear and not v.loud. I want to be able to hear someone if someone is close.
- I always run against traffic , so I can see oncoming traffic.
- I don't have a dog at the moment, but when I did he was my best running buddy and a great protector. I would advise everyone to run with their dog if they can. A lot of would be attackers are put off by a dog.
- I just always try to be aware. Not that you can't enjoy your run , but just use commonsense and pay attention. Also, if you get that "gut" feeling that something just isn't right , listen to it !

Monday, April 23, 2007, 3:43 PM

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Google "keychain pepper spray" (I'd insert a link but I'd hate to be accused of spam!) - it's a little one-use cannister of pepper spray attached to your keys, so you won't accidentally forget it. I've seen them in martial arts supplies catalogs, they run $5-10.

Walk purposefully, and master looking aware but not nervous.

My dad had a gadget that makes a silent noise to ward off dogs and a horrible piercing noise to ward off humans. It's about the size of a small remote control, costs $20-30.

Monday, April 23, 2007, 4:24 PM

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Thank you all so much for your feed back. I actually have pepperspray that I carry with me at night on campus. I don't know why I haven't thought of carrying it when I walk during the day (both times I mentioned above about being followed and the guy in the car, were in broad daylight). I'm going to start carrying my cell phone on more of my walks too, I already do it some of the time, but mostly at night. Thank you so much, again.

Monday, April 23, 2007, 4:37 PM

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Find a local track at a high school or middle school. Usually there are other people there exercising so you would'nt have to worry about being alone. If you must go alone, don't listen to music or talk on a cellphone as these things will distract you from your surroundings.

Monday, April 23, 2007, 5:08 PM

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I like to run and sometimes can't fit it into the day before it gets dark so my boyfriend bought me a small pepper spray for running. It had a velcro band that goes around your hand to keep it in place and it's a simple thumb switch to get it ready. I take it everywhere and love it. You can get them at most sporting goods stores like Big 5, copelands, etc. Hope this helps and stay safe.

Tuesday, April 24, 2007, 12:09 PM

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If you do run into some problems (god forbid) - guys instinctively protect their family jewels. Go for the toes, the eyes (if you have some nails) and the sternum...all very painful places to be hit with a well placed elbow or foot. I carry pepper spray in my car always. You can also find them at places that sells police uniforms...sometimes the cops will even help you acquire this.

Tuesday, April 24, 2007, 12:31 PM

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