Running is a simple sport. You don’t need a lot of equipment if you have good running shoes. Strap in and out the door or hop on the treadmill and be on your way in seconds. Also, while inherently accessible, running is inherently unsafe. Especially if you’re running outdoors.
Unfortunately, danger always exists. Distracted drivers cause accidents, injure themselves during sessions, and attract unwanted attention leading to conflict.
In a 2017 survey conducted by Runner’s World, 43% of women reported being harassed while running, compared to just 4% of men. More than 2,000 runners responded to the 2021 joint survey conducted by Runner’s World and Women’s Health. Of these respondents, 60% of the women reported being harassed while running. 25% reported experiencing unwanted sexual advances or sexist comments. And 6% reported feeling threatened to the point that their lives were in danger.
Scientific research in this area is scarce, but figures from these studies indicate that the dangers to women during running have only escalated. While the debate is often based on ethics, it is important to recognize that the responsibility to stay safe is not solely on women runners.
Here are some items the LIVESTRONG.com team has put into action for your peace of mind. These safety devices can increase defense, but this is an ongoing conversation that everyone must be involved in to protect all runners.
Birdie is your personal safety alarm that you can carry with you at all times. It’s a small device, but it has a big presence. When activated, a loud siren sounds along with a strobe light effect intended to deter or scare potential attackers. Once you feel safe again, you can easily disable the alarm and use it again whenever you need it. The Birdie comes in a wide range of bright colors, so you can easily find it in your purse or gym bag. Look no further.
If you’re looking for a discreet self-defense accessory, the Go Guarded Ring is for you. At first glance, it looks like a stylish ring, but hidden is a blade that automatically pops out at impact. Safety rings come in multiple sizes to fit every runner and can be worn in any situation where extra protection is required.
Carry this defensive tool comfortably in your hands and execute with confidence. The Saber Runner Pepper Gel Device works similarly to a pepper spray but has a gel consistency that resists wind blowback and can be used indoors. Each pepper gel comes with an adjustable hand strap for instant access and easy transport.
Early mornings and evening miles are the only times, especially when the seasons change. Wear the Noxgear Visibility Vest to make you visible to vehicles on the road. The lightweight vest features LED lights with 8 different color modes and a rechargeable battery that lasts up to 20 hours. It keeps you safe while on the move and can be seen from up to 1/4 mile away.
Accidents happen when you least expect them. Some of these accidents require the help of strangers and first responders. That’s why it’s important to have emergency contact information on hand so you can get in touch with your loved ones. The Road ID bracelet is designed to convey information needed in an emergency (medical history, emergency contact numbers, allergies, etc.). Also, the silicone band is made to withstand slips and drops.
These wearable reflectors offer a lightweight, attachable option for visibility. The magnetic reflector has a flashing LED light to help you stand out in the dark. Attach it to your tops, shorts, or water bottle to add a bright accent to your outfit and make you stand out from the drivers.
Buy it: Amphipod ($10); Amazon ($9.95); REI ($;9.95; store pickup may be available)
Music can energize any workout, but it’s essential to be aware of your surroundings. These open ear headphones are made with bone conduction technology, allowing you to hear your surroundings while listening to music (without sacrificing sound quality). They are waterproof and have a fast-charging battery that lasts up to 8 hours.
Apple Watch SE, Series 4 and later models include fall detection, which notifies 911 or an emergency contact if you fall while wearing your Apple Watch. Here’s how to turn it on:
- Open the Apple Watch app on your iPhone and[マイ ウォッチ]Select a tab.
- [緊急 SOS]Choose.
- Turn on Fall Detection. You can choose Always On or Only On during your workout.
For added security, make sure your emergency contact and medical information are set up in the Health app on your iPhone.
Buy: Apple (current series; starting at $399); Amazon (series 4; $147.99)