Exercise when safety is an issue
Earlier this year, I started the Couch to 5K running plan. I was really getting into it, and I liked how exercising made me feel more energetic and healthier. And then something happened that derailed my new fitness plan. A woman who was jogging in broad daylight in the neighborhood north of mine (in the so-called “good” part of town) got raped and pistol-whipped within an inch of her life. The police have never caught her attacker. In addition to that, our town has seen an increase in women being attacked in various ways while they were jogging. All of this bad news really put an end to my desire to jog, even in my own neighborhood. Gyms are few and far between down here, and the one gym I’ve considered joining is SUPER expensive. So I’ve been wondering what I can do to get some exercise that is both inexpensive and safe. I enjoy being outdoors and since we have pretty fantastic weather down here, outdoor exercises are ideal. That said, I’m also game for indoor exercises, too. Basically, I’d love to hear fitness suggestions, or even suggestions on how to jog safely.
– challenge sent in by Emily
Emily sent in this question a few months ago, so I hope a good compromise has already been found — but I imagine it’s not a unique challenge. Last summer whenever I was jogging in a nearby park I couldn’t help thinking about a local news story involving a woman who was killed in a wooded area very close by.
My initial thoughts on a solution for this run along the lines of home workouts — DVDs, maybe even an investment in a treadmill — or going ahead and ponying up the cash for a gym, if you think you’d make the most of the membership. SO worth it, in my opinion. But if you enjoy exercising outside, it seems highly unfair to be denied that pleasure. So: maybe run while carrying pepper spray, whistles, etc? Make sure to take safety precautions like not using headphones? Find a very public place to run where you have clear views all around you (perhaps a school track)?
What do you think, readers?