Princeton Capital Blog

Staying Safe Exercising In The Dark

March 25th, 2015

Exercising at sunsetStaying Safe Exercising In The Dark

The mornings are darker now for a little while after the time change and the days will slowly start to stay lighter later. Whether you go out for a run in the early morning or a bike ride in the late afternoon (or both), there are some important things you should do to ensure you are seen and safe.

Don’t zone out too much. If you’re wearing headphones and listening to music or an audiobook, keep the volume down so you’re aware of your surroundings.

Also, ensure that you carry some means of identification with you.

Finally, make certain that you’re seen. Don’t assume they see you. Don’t dart right out. Just because you have the right of way doesn’t mean you’d survive to complain about it in court if the person didn’t see you.

Some friends may counsel to just exercise indoors, but there’s something about getting lungs full of the cold air and the absolute quiet of the dawn that makes exercising outside fun even during the fall and winter.

6 Tips for Exercising In the Dark

Active.com published their 6 important tips for staying safe while exercising in the dark.

  1. Move in the Right Direction – Bike with traffic and run against traffic. This rule of thumb applies for all times of the day.
  2. Be Reflective – Darkness creates even more danger for exercisers. People driving to work before sunrise and returning home after sunset are not thinking about encountering joggers and cyclists.
  3. See Clearly  -When the midday sun shines brightly, you wouldn’t think of heading out without your wrap-around dark-lens shades.
  4. Brighten Your Day – Don’t wear black or other dark colors, especially if riding a bike.
  5. Creature Comforts – In many parts of the U.S., mountain and off-road trails are popular routes for runners, cyclists and hikers. While automobile traffic isn’t a concern on the meandering paths, big critters should be. Mountain lions, snakes and other potentially dangerous creatures are most active at dawn and dusk.
  6. Early Bird – While daylight ends earlier in the evening, setting the clocks back does offer earlier morning sun. Your commute and morning routine at home may not allow for an entire workout without darkness. But setting out before or at sunrise is the best way to guarantee it actually occurs.

Competitor.com posted their 7 Safety Tips for Running When It’s Dark

  1. Wear safety lights that can be seen on your front and back.
  2. Run facing traffic.
  3. Choose the right route – they’re recommending learning the route for cracks in the sidewalks that could trip you. And they recommend running on the sidewalk because it’s safer in the dark.
  4. Carry a cell phone.
  5. Carry your ID – they have a picture of a wrist band with identification stamped in metal that lists your name, address, blood type, etc. If anything happened to you, having this would help make a bad situation better.
  6. Wear a hat with a brim – it helps with the glare of being blinded by headlights and keeps you warmer.
  7. Ditch the tunes – better to stay more aware of your surroundings even if it gets boring.

So whether you run, jog, bike or walk, stay aware of your surroundings, be seen, and carry your phone and ID.

Where is your favorite exercise route? And does it end up at a coffee shop for your reward?

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