5 Tips for Exercising when it’s Dark in the Mornings and Evenings
6 January 2017
It’s now a time of year when we’re not exactly getting a generous amount of natural light in mornings and evenings – and that can pose problems.
It can be an especially big issue for your exercise regime, throwing up certain challenges and obstacles that you might not have even thought of preparing yourself for. That’s why we have decided to provide the following advice for keeping your exercise efforts on track when the sun isn’t out quite as often.
Run in the opposite direction to the traffic
While, as Athletic-Minded Traveler’s Jim Kaese acknowledges in an article for ACTIVE, this is good advice whatever the time of day, you will soon see why we are mentioning it here in particular. Running against the traffic’s flow will let you see approaching vehicles – like cars, buses, bikes and more. Even when you are running at five minutes per mile, oncoming traffic will be able to see you and you should have enough time to avoid oncoming danger.
A good time to reflect
No, we don’t mean reflect on your life so far – maybe you should save that for when you’re relaxing at home. We mean that, when out cycling or jogging, you should wear reflective clothing and gear to help yourself to visually stand out. That way, people driving near you will likely be better able to see you. Visibility-enhancing items that we would recommend include a reflective vest, Velcro wrist and ankle bands, and glow-in-the-dark stickers that you could attach to your hat and shoes.
Be careful what you wear over your eyes
Keeping protective eyewear on your face during outdoor workouts, especially cycling, is prudent. However, dark-tinted lenses that you might typically wear during sunnier times could, at dusk and dawn, hinder your ability to see clearly. For that reason, at those times, we would advise instead wearing clear or red-tinted lenses. This eyewear will keep your eyes safe from flying objects like dust or stones while also improving your vision.
Bring a friend!
Taking a mate with you on your outdoor exercise pursuits has a number of benefits outlined on LifeVest Health’s Wordpress blog. This tactic will enhance your visibility and safety, and also has the potential to help keep you on track at those times when your motivation might be waning. You are less likely to skip a workout if your friend reminds or urges you to do it! If your mates aren’t active types, don’t fret; joining one of the many fitness boot camps that we run can be great for meeting new, like-minded people who could become firm friends.
Choose a well-lit route
You might have favourite places to exercise in that suddenly seem dark to the point of intimidating during the current mornings and evenings. In that case, you could look for alternative places that both are better lit and seem, quite simply, safer – for example, because there are more people there. Such people could even help to light those places up, such as by using vehicles with lights on.