A guide to what matters if you want to concealed carry comfortably while getting in a workout or run.
Running, jogging, and walking are some of the best exercises for physical and mental health. The benefits are numerous, and include weight loss, a healthier heart, better sleep, happier moods, a stronger immune system, and (contrary to popular belief) better knee and back health.
Whether you run for competition, pleasure, mental health, or simply want to melt off some belly fat, you don’t have to sacrifice safety and personal defense. If you are a concealed-carry gun owner, and you want to continue your outdoor exercises, there are ways to run comfortably while maintaining safe, secure, responsible concealed carry.
But carrying while running is not the same as going about your daily routine with a concealed firearm.
The Challenges of Concealed Carry While Running
Exercising creates new challenges, and understanding these difficulties is the first step to running with your concealed-carry weapon. While there are certainly other factors, it seems that running with a concealed-carry firearm is challenging because of two specific issues:
Issue 1: Smaller, Tighter Fitness Clothing
Modern runners don’t wear baggy sweatpants and sweatshirts. They look more like Lance Armstrong in body-tight spandex than Rocky Balboa in loose, tattered sweats. This is true in summer, but even cold-weather fitness clothing of today is form-fitting yet warm, flexible, and comfortable. This creates challenges for someone who wants to carry a concealed firearm without imprinting on their tight clothing.
Issue 2: Gun Needs to Be EXTRA Secure
Regardless of the situation, your concealed firearm should be firmly secured to your body, with no jostling or shaking whatsoever. This is difficult enough when walking down the street, but when you are jogging it’s even more difficult to keep the firearm secure.
Yes, It Is Possible to Run, Jog, and Exercise with a Concealed Firearm
Despite those two challenges, it is entirely possible to jog, run, and perform most types of workouts while carrying a loaded firearm for personal protection. With advances in textiles and apparel materials, as well as a variety of firearms that are effective yet compact and lightweight, there is no reason (outside of legal restrictions) why you can’t jog with a concealed firearm.
You may, however, need to make changes to how you dress while exercising, as well as how you carry. These changes may include which gun you take on your jogging routine.
How Can You Make Running with a Concealed Weapon more Effective?
May Need Baggier Clothing Over
This is directly tied to the first issue: modern form-fitting exercise clothing. If you have a collection of fitness apparel that is snug to your body, you may need to change or add something to your workout wardrobe. Adding a baggy tee shirt that covers your waist, for example, may be required. You may have to swap form-fitting pants for baggier gym shorts or traditional sweats.
We hate to be the bearer of bad news, but you may have to leave your bulky 1911-style .45 ACP handgun in the safe. Instead, you may need to take a .38 snub-nose or a compact 9mm pistol on your jog. This is a difficult adjustment, as many gun owners don’t have a locker full of pistol option. However, if jogging and carrying is a priority, a new, lighter firearm may be needed.
Changes to Where You Carry (On Your Body) May be Needed
Depending on your specific body type, the apparel you currently have, your weapon of choice, and your comfort level with certain positions, you may have to make adjustments to where you carry the weapon on your body.
Generally, most runners seem to prefer a few specific body positions while avoiding others…
Most Prefer Behind/Side of Hip or Near the Ribs
The best place for your firearm is a position where it will be comfortable to carry and won’t interfere with your running stride. This usually makes slightly behind or right beside the hip your best option. This is usually a comfortable place to carry and it will allow for quick access if needed.
There are also tank tops, usually marketed to women, made especially for concealing a firearm near the side of the ribs, keeping the weapon more or less between the armpit and the side hip bone. (However, we can’t vouch for the quality of these tank tops, nor any other conceal-carry apparel for that matter.)
Avoid the Ankle, Front of Waist Positions
Most runners should probably avoid keeping the weapon at your ankle, as well as keeping the firearm near the front of the waste. At the ankle, the weapon creates a weight on one leg; unless you are counterbalancing with a similar weight, you’ll create an uneven drag on your running stride.
At the front of the waste, you are creating a barrier where your thigh moves forward. This could create friction, rubbing, and discomfort, even, possibly, resulting in blisters.
Remember the Sweat
When choosing a position for your firearm, remember that you’re going to sweat. If, in the event of an emergency, you have to draw your weapon, you don’t want a wet, slippery grip and trigger. Besides that, salty sweat can’t be good for the longevity of a firearm. If you sweat excessively, you may need to adjust where you carry based on where you sweat the most.
Is it Going to Rain?
You’ll also want to check the weather forecast before leaving. If heavy rain is expected, you may need to make changes to your jogging routine. Of course, many don’t want to jog in the rain (while others find it exhilarating), so the weather could cancel your outing regardless of concealing a weapon.
Changes to Where You Jog May be Needed As Well
If you are carrying a concealed weapon, you may need to change where you jog. Certain parks and public locations prohibit firearms, so you may have to skip these areas. College campuses, for example, are well-paved, enjoyable places to jog, yet almost always prohibit firearms.
Whether these regulations are right, wrong, or pure foolishness, we can’t say. But you should respect all local and state regulations, regardless of your opinion, and always stay within the boundaries of the law.
Are Other Weapons and Defenses an Option?
Finally, we’d encourage you to at least consider other means of self defense. As we have outlined, carrying a concealed firearm when jogging can be a perfectly reasonable, comfortable, and effective way to stay safer while jogging. But it’s not the only way to protect yourself.
If you simply can’t find a way to jog comfortably with a firearm, or if your area is loaded with regulations that make carrying a firearm illegal, perhaps a different form of defense is needed. Perhaps a small knife, pepper spray, or taser would be better for your needs.
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In the end, self defense is a personal choice. But if you have decided that a concealed weapon is the right choice for you, find the affordable ammunition you need for practice and personal defense right here.
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