No need to skip your run even though it’s dark outside. Just follow these tips to stay safer.
With daylight savings time ending, there are less daytime hours available to do the things outdoors that you enjoy. But even though the days are getting shorter and it’s harder to fit in a run while it’s still light outside, you don’t have to skip your run or take your workout indoors at this time of year. Many people enjoy running at night and it’s possible to run safely in the dark as long as you take a few extra precautions.
Here are 6 tips to stay safer when you run at night:
- Stick with familiar routes. Heading out on a new trail or in an unfamiliar neighborhood is best left for daylight hours when it’s easier to see where you’re going. Nighttime is not the time to get lost or find yourself in a situation that you’re not prepared for. Stick with routes you’re comfortable with so you know what to expect, like uneven sidewalks or a sharp turn in the road.
- Pay attention to your surroundings. When your vision is compromised due to the darkness, it’s important to be more aware of what’s going on around you using your other senses. So skip the headphones and stay off your phone.
- Make sure you’re easily seen. Wear bright colored clothing or clothing with built-in reflective strips so you’re more visible in the dark. You can also wear a reflective vest or affix glow-in-the-dark stickers to your body, clothing or shoes to increase visibility. Reflective bands worn on your arms and legs attract attention as you move.
- Light up the night. Carry a flashlight, wear a headlamp or attach blinking lights to your body. This will not only make you more visible to others but will help you see the path in front of you more clearly.
- Run facing traffic. By running in the direction of oncoming traffic, you can see motor vehicles that are heading towards you and they can also more easily see you. Be sure to only cross at designated areas and take extra time to make sure your path is clear and motorists can see you.
- Don’t go out alone. There’s safety in numbers and this is especially true when it’s dark outside. If you do head out alone, let someone know where you’re headed and when you expect to be back. Always carry ID and a cell phone with you, in case of emergency.
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Date Last Reviewed: September 18, 2018
Editorial Review: Andrea Cohen, Editorial Director, Baldwin Publishing, Inc. Contact Editor
Medical Review: Andrew P. Overman, DPT, MS, COMT, CSCS