When it comes to exercise, most people think of spending time in the gym after work, or doing some weight training and push-ups at home. Everyone has their favorite exercise, and sweating it out at a fitness club is just one possible option. If you’re dedicated to an outdoor exercise routine, working out after sunset can be an option. But it’s wise to do your research before heading out to the streets at night, because there are a few safety issues to keep in mind. Here are some things to consider if you want to exercise at night.
While most people prefer working out alone, going solo on the streets at night can be risky. Exercising in a group decreases the chance of being hit by a car or being mugged. So always take a friend (or friends!) with you whenever possible. It’s fun to get together in groups, anyway. When you need to go alone, don’t wander too far from your neighborhood and stay away from dark, unlit streets and paths.
Exercising at night requires a bit of planning, at least more than your normal routines at the gym. You’ll have to determine the whole point of your nighttime workout, so ask yourself a few questions. Are you going to run or bike? Do you need equipment? For how long will you be working out? Which routes are you taking? Once these questions are answered, you have a general idea of your goals, and what to expect from the workout.
What do you need for a nighttime workout? It depends on the type of exercise or sport you plan to do. Some exercises like jogging require nothing much except your trainers, but you’ll need a basketball if you plan on stopping at a nearby park to do a few shooting lay-ups. The things you should have in your bag are your identification card, some cash, and a list of emergency phone contacts. But only bring the list and leave your mobile phone at home, because you don’t want to spend every few minutes glancing down to check Facebook and an expensive phone could leave you at risk of being robbed.
Nighttime means low visibility, and accidents can happen if you’re not careful. Wear bright colors so drivers can see you from far away. Although some running shoes have built-in reflective materials, you can increase your visibility by wearing specially designed sportswear such as shirts, running shorts or jackets, too. If you think this isn’t enough, bring a small flashlight or attach flashing devices to your bicycle, if you’re cycling.
Once again, be careful of your surroundings. Some methods include exercising against the traffic so you can see oncoming cars, and staying on sidewalks whenever you can to avoid falling into potholes or tripping over other obstacles. This is where you need to use your situational awareness. Many people have their earphones plugged in to listen to music, but this can prove to be a dangerous distraction that can lead to accidents at night Remember you’re here to workout, so save the music for later.