As the days get shorter, it’s more difficult to get an outdoor workout in during daylight hours. Nightfall and darkness in the early hours, increase the chance of accident or injury, because it’s harder for you to see obstacles in front of you. It’s also harder for others to see you.

But less daylight doesn’t mean you have to take your workout indoors. Exercising safely early in the morning or after work is possible, as long as you take a few precautions.

 

7 tips for exercising safely when it’s dark outside

1

Wear bright, reflective clothing.

Choose bright colors or white so you’re more visible in the dark. Some athletic clothing also comes with built-in reflective strips. You can wear a reflective vest or affix glow-in-the-dark stickers to your clothing or shoes to increase visibility. Reflective or light-up bands worn on your arms and legs make you more noticeable because your motion indicates to others that you’re moving.

2

Use a light.

If you’re on a bicycle, it should be equipped with front and back lights. If you’re running or walking, you can attach blinking lights to your body, wear a headlamp or carry a flashlight. This will not only make you more visible to others but will help you see the path in front of you more clearly.

3

Move in the right direction.

Run or walk against traffic, but if you’re on a bicycle, go with the flow of traffic.

4

Know where you’re going.

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. Stick with routes you’re comfortable with and where you know what to expect (like uneven sidewalks or a sharp turn in the road).

5

Be aware of your surroundings.

When your vision is compromised, 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.

6

Don’t go out alone.

There’s safety in numbers and this is especially true when it’s dark outside.

7

Let others know where you’re going.

It’s always a good idea to let people know where you’re headed. Tell someone your route and when you expect to be back. Always carry ID and keep your cell phone with you at all times.

As the days get shorter, it’s more difficult to get an outdoor workout in during daylight hours. Nightfall and darkness in the early hours, increase the chance of accident or injury, because it’s harder for you to see obstacles in front of you. It’s also harder for others to see you.

But less daylight doesn’t mean you have to take your workout indoors. Exercising safely early in the morning or after work is possible, as long as you take a few precautions.

 

7 tips for exercising safely when it’s dark outside

1

Wear bright, reflective clothing.

Choose bright colors or white so you’re more visible in the dark. Some athletic clothing also comes with built-in reflective strips. You can wear a reflective vest or affix glow-in-the-dark stickers to your clothing or shoes to increase visibility. Reflective or light-up bands worn on your arms and legs make you more noticeable because your motion indicates to others that you’re moving.

2

Use a light.

If you’re on a bicycle, it should be equipped with front and back lights. If you’re running or walking, you can attach blinking lights to your body, wear a headlamp or carry a flashlight. This will not only make you more visible to others but will help you see the path in front of you more clearly.

3

Move in the right direction.

Run or walk against traffic, but if you’re on a bicycle, go with the flow of traffic.

4

Know where you’re going.

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. Stick with routes you’re comfortable with and where you know what to expect (like uneven sidewalks or a sharp turn in the road).

5

Be aware of your surroundings.

When your vision is compromised, 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.

6

Don’t go out alone.

There’s safety in numbers and this is especially true when it’s dark outside.

7

Let others know where you’re going.

It’s always a good idea to let people know where you’re headed. Tell someone your route and when you expect to be back. Always carry ID and keep your cell phone with you at all times.

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Date Last Reviewed: September 21, 2017

Editorial Review: Andrea Cohen, Editorial Director, Baldwin Publishing, Inc. Contact Editor

Medical Review: Andrew P. Overman, DPT, MS, COMT, CSCS

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