Seven Safety Tips For Working Out Alone


Protect yourself

Running, riding, walking, or hiking solo shouldn’t be scary for women. But almost all of us who’ve spent time solo on the trail know that sometimes, it can feel a little creepy. But those fears shouldn’t keep you stuck on the treadmill. We deserve to be comfortable when we’re outside getting our sweat on. Tel Aviv-based Krav Maga expert and teacher Dan Gador has some amazing tips for women to help us stay safe—and empowered to work out anytime, anywhere.

Be Aware 
Skip headphones. That’s Gador’s biggest tip, and the one he sees ignored most often. “People aren’t aware of their surroundings anymore,” he says. If you must run with tunes, he says, keep the volume low and run with only one earbud in. It’s not ideal, but it’s better than nothing! Pay attention to who and what is around you. If you feel like that sketchy-looking dude is following you, stop for a few seconds to “check your phone” and see if he runs past. If he does, head in another direction and carry on, says Gador. You could also pop into a coffee shop, library, McDonald's, whatever, and change your course. Don’t be afraid to be afraid! 

Stay in the Light 
Aim for areas that you know well, are well-lit at night, or that have plenty of open places you can duck into. If you’re solo on a trail, make sure you have a map of the area, and rather than exploring new trail systems solo, bring a friend or two the first time you go adventuring and learn a couple of routes. Running at night? Find a kid’s practice, like soccer or softball, where you can run with tons of people around.  

File a Flight Plan 
Let people know where you’re going to be. There are apps like MapMyRun that allow live-tracking or share your location, via Find My Friends, with your partner, parent, or best friend so someone is always keeping an eye on you.  

Go Prepared 
Always bring a (fully charged) phone, says Gador. Even if you think you're not going to use it or are afraid of being distracted by it, a method of communication is important to have on hand. And if you’re running early, at dusk, or in the dark, be bright and reflective with a headlamp, reflective stripes on your gear, and even a handheld flashlight. (Safety also involves not getting hit by cars.) 

Know Your Game Plan 
No one wants to think about it, but some forethought into what you would do if attacked can save your life, says Gador. The biggest mistake he sees women make is that they head out on a run carrying pepper spray, but have never practiced using it. “You need to know how to grab it from wherever you have it stashed,” he said, “And be able to quickly open it, point it in the right direction, turn off the safety, and use it.” Too often people think it’ll be simple… and end up spraying themselves instead of an attacker. (He also advises people not use a spray when the wind is coming toward them or when they're in a small, confined space, lest it's them who ends up with a faceful of pepper spray.) 

Don’t S.I.N.G. 
Remember in Miss Congeniality when Sandra Bullock teaches everyone the S.I.N.G. acronym (solar plexus, instep, nose, and groin)? Well, turns out, that might not be the most efficient way to free yourself from an attacker, says Gador. The solar plexus is a tough spot to aim for and needs to be hit pretty freaking hard to do any damage. Stomping an instep only works well in spike heels. “Think about your foam running shoes. Stomp on a foot, and you’ll likely just make someone mad,” Gador says. Rather, he advocates for aiming for the groin (any type of hit), or the nose. If you go for the nose, use the heel of your hand and strike upward to do the most damage. 

Learn to Slap 
A hard slap done right can do more than just annoy someone. Slap as hard as you can, aiming for the ear. If you hit your attacker right in the ear, you can use your hand and create a suction effect that can puncture eardrums. At the least, it will throw off your attacker’s balance, says Gador, giving you time to sprint away to safety. 

Know Your Limits 
“Women come and take Krav Maga for a few months, and they feel comfortable running anywhere, and feel confident that they can handle anything,” says Gador. But hey, if you don’t feel comfortable running on the trail by yourself, no one said you had to. Find routes and places that make you feel comfortable and enjoy them. There are multiple ways to push your limits, so why feel uncomfortable for no reason?  

Photo by Gareth Cattermole / Getty Images.

It marks her third duet with Nas

Here are some words that I never expected to read or hear again: There is a new song with Amy Winehouse. But here we are in 2019, and Salaam Remi has granted me a wish. On Valentine's Day, the Grammy-nominated producer and frequent Winehouse collaborator (also responsible for hits like Miguel's "Come Through & Chill") released "Find My Love" which features rapper Nas and that powerful and haunting voice that I have come to love and cherish so dearly.

Representatives for Remi said that the Winehouse vocals were from an old jam session the two had. Remi was a producer on both of Winehouse's albums, Frank and Back to Black. "Find My Love" marks the third time Winehouse and Nas have done duets under the direction of Remi. They were previously heard together on "Like Smoke," a single from her 2011 posthumous album Amy Winehouse Lioness: Hidden Treasures, and "Cherry Wine" from Nas' 2012 album Life Is Good. Winehouse died of alcohol poisoning on July 23, 2011, before they could complete production on her third album. My heart is still broken about it as she is by far my favorite artist.

"Find My Love" is set to appear on Remi's Do It for the Culture 2, a collection of songs curated by him. Check it out, below.



Photo by Gabe Ginsberg/Getty Images

"In the midst of chaos there's opportunity"

Following the travesty that was Fyre Festival, Ja Rule wants to take another stab at creating a music festival. Good luck getting that off the ground.

On Thursday, the rapper spoke to TMZ, where he revealed that he was planning to relaunch Icon, an app used to book entertainers, which is similar to Billy McFarland's Fyre app. He told the outlet that he wanted to create a festival similar to Fyre to support it.

"[Fyre Festival] is heartbreaking to me. It was something that I really, really wanted to be special and amazing, and it just didn't turn out that way, but in the midst of chaos there's opportunity, so I'm working on a lot of new things," he says. He then gets into the fact that he wants to form a music festival. "[Fyre] is the most iconic festival that never was... I have plans to create the iconic music festival, but you didn't hear it from me."

Ja Rule actually doesn't seem to think he is at all responsible for what came from Fyre Fest, claiming in a Twitter post that he was "hustled, scammed, bamboozled, hood winked, led astray." Even if that's his feeling, he should realize that anyone involved with Fyre shouldn't ever try their hand at music festivals again.