8 Essential Tips for Running at Night
With a busy work schedule and family commitments, when is there time in the day left to exercise?
For many of us, in the evenings after work is the only time left where we can fit in an exercise routine. If running is your workout of choice, is going for a run at night safe?
Yes, it can be—as long as you take precautions. Running is one of the best exercises out there, as it helps strengthen your joints, improves heart health, and helps relieve stress.
So, there’s no need to give up running just because you can only go at night. Instead, keep reading for nine essential tips for running at night safely.
1. When Running at Night, Invest in a Running Light
When going for a run at night, safety is the most important consideration. If it’s dark out, you may still be able to see oncoming traffic, road hazards, or cyclists, but don’t automatically assume that they can see you.
Always use running lights when you head out. This helps you become more visible in your surroundings, keeping you safe. It also makes it easier to see uneven ground or potholes, which aren’t always obvious in the dark.
Running lights are comfortable to wear and lightweight, so they won’t bother you while you’re working out. Most have batteries that last for months, so you’ll get plenty of use before you need to purchase replacement batteries.
2. Wear Reflective Clothing
The best night running gear is reflective clothing. If your shoes, jacket, or pants have reflective material as part of their design, it will make it easier for drivers and cyclists to see you.
When lights from car headlights shine on the reflective material, you’ll become much more visible. Wearing dark clothing without reflective strips is never a good idea at night, as you’ll be hard to see.
This, combined with your headlamp, will give you the best possible visibility when you’re out running.
3. Run With a Friend
If possible, going for a run at night with a friend or family member is a good idea. When you’re with someone else, you’re safer and can help each other in case of an accident or injury.
Why not try to start a running club in your community or workplace? There’s likely to be quite a few runners who don’t want to run alone but don’t have anyone to go with— you could meet new running friends and help each other stay safe.
4. Tell Someone Where You’re Going and When You’ll Be Back
Before heading out on your run, let someone know the route you plan to take and when you expect to be back.
This way, should anything happen, your friend or family member will know where you are. It may seem like overkill, but it’s a simple step you can take to stay safe when running at night.
5. Stick to Well-Lit Areas
Whenever possible, plan your running routes in well-lit areas, such as along busy roads, parks with floodlighting, or in built-up commercial or tourist areas of your town.
These areas are likely to have more pedestrian traffic, which is helpful— there’s always safety in numbers. Plus, it will be easier to see the road, reducing your chances of slips or falls.
If there’s nowhere safe to run at night in your area, you may want to consider investing in a treadmill or gym membership. It’s not the same as running outdoors, but it may keep you safe.
6. Bring Your Phone
Always get in the habit of bringing your phone when you run. It can be your lifeline in case of a fall or accident, so always have it with you in case you need to call for help.
Although men’s athletic wear has always been generous with pockets, women’s running gear is finally starting to offer generous pocket sizes in leggings and shorts.
So, it’s easier than ever to hold onto your phone and keep it secure while you’re running.
7. Stay Alert and Aware
One of the best ways to stay safe on a run is to be alert, aware, and focused on your surroundings.
If you see or hear anything that seems unusual or off, leave the area immediately and change your running path. Although many of us like to listen to music or podcasts while running, keep the volume very low so you can still hear what’s happening around you.
Unfortunately, runners who are engrossed in their headphones and not aware of what’s happening around them are easy targets for thieves or harassers.
8. Wear Supportive Shoes
When you’re running in the dark, it’s harder to see what’s right in front of you. This can include uneven or broken sidewalks, holes, an old bottle left in the road, or many other things that could cause you to trip and fall.
To help avoid slips or twisted ankles, make sure your running shoes have plenty of support. If you do step onto uneven ground, a strong, supportive shoe will help you keep your balance and protect your feet and ankle.
You may find that you prefer wearing different shoes for evening runs compared to during the day.
Enjoy Night Runs With These Helpful Tips
Running at night can be exhilarating, helps to relieve stress after a long time, and is a fantastic exercise.
If you follow the tips above, you’ll increase your chances of staying safe and healthy as you exercise. Although running at night can be intimidating at first, once you develop a routine that works for you, you’ll come to look forward to your runs at the end of the day.
Get started today and start enjoying your night runs—safely!
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