Should Women be Running Scared?

Should Women be Running Scared?

– In recent months, three
women were tragically murdered while running by themselves. This, of course, has many women scared and questioning their
daily running routine. To help everyone stay safe while they’re out there running, we have
Women’s Health magazine fitness director, Jen Ator,
joining us once again. (audience applauds) Thank you for joining us. ‘Cause this is a really important issue that I’m actually glad
we’re talking about. – It is and it’s
terrifying, but it’s also, you know, a lot of women are pissed too because I’m a runner, I love running, it’s one of my favorite hobbies. And a lot of the reaction was telling women, “Don’t go running alone.” Now that’s the advice,
no women can run alone. And that’s really not what the issue is. I’m a single woman who
works a full-time job and now I’m supposed to find a buddy that can always run at the same time I can, at the pace I can, at
the same mileage I want. Like, it’s just not realistic. – I think what you’re
saying, Jen, is, okay, let’s keep running but let’s be cognizant of the dangers out there. Because you can do all the
right things, yet still find yourself in a bit
of a sketchy situation. So if you’re out there and
you’re a runner and this is your thing and you love
to do it alone, what can you do to protect
yourself and be prepared? – There’s easy things you can do, from, you know, women have
really great intuition. We intuitively can sense things,
we have good gut instinct. You can’t really tap into
that when you have headphones on full-blast and you’re
rocking out to music. – Right, and you’re in the zone, right. – And you’re in the zone. So an easy thing you can
do is leave one earbud out or turn down the volume
or run with no music. And really just be kind of
in touch with, you know, I just ran by that person
who feels a little bit off or this area that I’m running in feels a little unsafe, that
you wouldn’t normally be realizing if you’re jamming out. I also think that investing in planning your routes a little smarter. Don’t be the woman who’s always up at 7AM, doing the same exact route. So let me just think through. What can I do, how can I make
sure, beyond just planning good routes and staying in
well-lit areas and all of that. Like, if somebody were to approach me, how would I handle that? Would I, you know, what
would I reach for, what would I try to hit, what would
I do in that first second? Because that’s, you know, a lot of women aren’t thinking that way. They’re thinking, well I told somebody and then they’re very caught off guard. And there’s a lot of research out there, that’s it’s those first couple seconds. It’s the woman having to do something to help the situation a little bit more. – [Dr. Stork] And I love
your model over there because that’s clearly
someone who’s out on a run, has thought through
some possible scenarios. – Very much. Pretty much every scenario this
person has thought through. (laughs) – I like it. – But you know, a big
point too is, we invest in running shoes, we
invest in watches, we bring water bottles with us so
that we stay hydrated. Safety should just be another piece of that puzzle and finding
something, you know… A great tip that we heard
from a lot of readers was, there’s a couple women that’ll
just shove a pen in their sports bra, if they needed
something to jab somebody. A lot of times people will say, think about the three soft spots. So, eyes, neck, groin, if you ever were approached by an attacker. So, women have said, I carry a pen. If I needed to, I could, you know. – That’s a great idea, yeah. – It’s kinda graphic, but it’s true. And then, you know, another
great thing is alarms. There’s a lot of different kinds of these and they’ll sound… I’ll do it so you guys can hear it. (loud alarm) So hopefully, you know, you use one of these things, pull it instinctively. That will scare the person enough that you have that extra second or two to… – I love that one. – [Jen] Yeah, I mean… – Because the pen is great, but that’s gonna require confrontation. I’ll tell you what, if you
have an attacker and they hear that noise, they’re
gonna, hopefully, flee. – Yeah, there are some, I mean this one if you pull, which it’s super loud. A thousand feet radius it can be heard. So, that’s also helping
you in the sense of, if there’s people around,
if there’s people nearby. – [Dr. Stork] Absolutely. – There’s a lot of apps
you can use that will come with little tags or notifications. RunRageous is one of them, so it’s just an app that can be on your phone. You can press a panic button
and it will alert your in case of emergency
and the emergency people that there’s something wrong. – I think what I’ve learned from this, you know, I do love it when I see people out running with their dogs, number one. – Mm-hmm. – Just because that’s almost a wearable alarm in and of itself. But having something with you… – [Jen] Mm-hmm. – That can protect you or
alert others, I honestly think anyone who’s out there
running, especially women, have something on your
person that can notify anyone around you that
there’s something going on. Because that’s where people can call 911. – Mm-hmm. – And what you wanna
do is you wanna prevent what happened to these three women. – Mm-hmm. – What I’m really happy
about, Jen, also is you coming on the show and saying,
“Look, women, keep running.” – [Jen] Yeah. – This is what makes
people happy and enjoy it. – Yeah.
(audience applauds) – Don’t run scared, run aware. – You really can’t, you cannot let those kinds of worries
stop you from living. – Exactly. – And if it’s something you enjoy. – Running especially, that’s
an empowering thing for women. Getting out there and feeling confident and doing these types of things, that’s a good thing that we should be supporting. And like you said, just
having that extra little step, bringing something with
you, having a plan, knowing what you do, can
greatly improve the safety each and every time you go out for a run. – [Dr. Stork] And you enjoy your run more. And you can, of course, catch this month’s issue of Women’s Health,
it’s on stands now. And you can also get a list of trusted runner apps and tools that can help you stay safe out there by
heading to our website. Jen, always a pleasure. (audience applauds)


  1. How about just running in the neighbourhood or on the sidewalks on the road? I just can not run in the woods ALL by my self. Just NO!!!

  2. when i was a teen I would walk in a new housing development behind the trailer park where i live and i would always bring my MP3 player with me turn the music on full blast and know when i go for a walk alone the MP3 player stays home

  3. I advocate carrying pepper spray, and practicing its use at least once a year, and please run in open areas and never after dark. Stop listening to earphones and start listening to your intuition.

  4. I cringe when I see ANYONE (male or female) jog or run with music. How are you at ease not being able to hear your surroundings?

  5. This is becoming a trend now. Scare women into staying home and taking care of babies and not themselves. I don't go no where without a adult tag along because of knowing people in the area that could harm me and would take pleasure in doing so. The mexicans that live in the neighborhood have ask me out and being married it makes me nervous to just wonder out on my own. I am growing less and less likely to be on my own.

  6. You can clip a pocket knife to your pants or sports bra . You can use personal alarms , pepper spray , bear spray . Tell someone where you’re running and never run the same trails . Use the runner apps too . Never Ever run alone when it’s dark .

  7. Don’t attack people if you feel the need to attack someone maybe you need to use the buddy system. It’s not the victims fault someone else is fucked up. And stop using the excuse of mental illness I’m so sick of that one.

  8. Also, violent crimes and murder are at an all time low. Three female runner were killed out of 360 million people. It's very rare.

  9. I used to run outside. One Sunday around 2 pm a man tried to get me to go inside his car. I said "absolutely not" but he chased me with his car. Thankfully, I ran in a neighbor's backyard and called the police. Now I run on the treadmill. I don't care if people say it's "not as good" I'd rather do that than be kidnapped or dead.

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