Just because the sun is setting doesn’t mean you have to work out indoors. Some people find it’s too dark out to train, so they pick up inside exercises like free weights, lift machines and running on the treadmill. However, other people need the sights, smells and freedom of the outdoors to complete their workout.
Whether running is what you thrive on each day to unwind and relax or it’s the best form of physical activity to help you lose a few pounds, late night running can also become a problem when you have a lack of visibility — especially during the colder months — when the sun sets early.
If you’re passionate about running in the dark or find it’s the only time to accomplish your workout, you must take particular precautions if you want to remain safe throughout your exercise. Panther Vision is here to support you in finding the best practices that fit your routine and the top gear to keep you at the forefront of people’s vision.
Is Running at Night Bad?
We get it — running during the day isn’t always an option if you’re at work or even if the sun is too hot to step outside. Therefore, nighttime often sets an ideal tone for cooler weather and a more relaxed feel with less traffic and other pedestrians to worry about during your run. But it also means less light to see in front of you, which can lead to you tripping over stumps, running into objects or possibly getting struck by a vehicle. Runners can suffer minor and major injuries if they’re unaware of what’s in front of and behind them.
In 2016, 5,987 pedestrian deaths occurred in the U.S., so it’s vital to be on the lookout and never assume a vehicle or other pedestrian sees you.
While there are several provisions you must contemplate while taking on the dark streets for an exercise, running at night isn’t a negative or “bad” activity. On the contrary, there are many benefits to exercising in the evening.
For example, getting out of the house as soon as you get home from work or completing errands can break up any poor late-night habits. If you’re prone to arriving home after a long day, slumping on the couch and staying there until midnight, you may feel like you have a lack of motivation to complete the things you need to accomplish.
Instead of being lackadaisical, eating a few extra midnight snacks or not sleeping well, running at night can help you avoid your absence of enthusiasm. Get changed into your sneakers and running outfit as soon as you get home to start the night off on a positive note. From there, it will help propel you into being more productive.
Taking a run after the sun sets can also act as a de-stressing activity before a big day. It refreshes your mind, keeps you thinking positively and gives you more energy to read one more chapter, look over your presentation or finalize any big plans. Running at night even encourages athletes to run faster.
If you want to continue with your running routine while staying safe at night, Panther Vision has a few night running tips and suggestions for you. Along with following the safety guidelines, you can also check out our line of Powercap® LED Lighted Hats for exceptional visibility during your night run.
Top Tips for Night Running
It’s easy to pop out the front door and into the street, ready to run and take on your workout without putting any thought into your outfit and other circumstances. But the key to proper night running safety is to see and be seen. Not only can running at night make it difficult for drivers to see you, but the poor lighting can make it difficult for you to see as well, which gives you less time to react to hazards such as branches, potholes, fences and wet areas. Staying visible and being aware of your surroundings is your biggest priority. While the following tips also hold true for daytime activities, they are even more crucial after the sun sets.
Consider the top running at night safety tips:
1. Stop “Zoning out”
Running is, in fact, the best time to clear our minds instead of focusing on tomorrow or what you’re eating for dinner, but you want to pay attention to what’s happening around you whether you’re at a congested intersection or back road.
2. Keep It Simple
Instead of diving into a 5-mile run, think about taking on a smaller 2.5-mile loop that you can double. You won’t want to stray too far from home in the dark. Make sure to warm up before sprinting on the road by eating a healthy snack and performing several stretches to stay loose. You can even start by walking the first bit if you’ve been sitting all day at work to keep yourself from experiencing tight muscles or injuries.
3. Run Against Traffic
Running on the left side of the road is one of the best ways to give drivers a clear view of what’s in front of them and helps you see what’s coming your way. Try to stay away from exercising during rush hour times or roads with excessive traffic. Instead, stick to side streets or main roads that have less congestion. And if a sidewalk is available, always choose it over the pavement.
4. Wear Bright, Vibrant and Reflective Colors
Colors such as white, orange and yellow are perfect for running in the dark. You can also choose to wear apparel that offers high-visibility fabrics. You even want to make sure your gloves, hats and shoes have reflective properties. Wearing reflective gear that helps you stand out should be at the top of your list when preparing for a night run. You can also use headlights. We suggest you wear your reflective strip gear around your arms and legs as opposed to your waist because it’s easier for others to see the light when it’s in motion.
5. Run Behind Cars at Intersections
Instead of passing in front of vehicles, always run behind them because you can’t guarantee the driver will see you before pulling out. The maneuver also helps keep traffic moving and causes less confusion.
6. Avoid Wearing Headphones — Even During the Day
The absence of earbuds allows you to hear better. You need to be able to hear approaching cars, sirens and even people talking. If you prefer to listen to something, choose a podcast or audiobook because music can drown out noise while listening to a voice still allows you to hear what’s happening around you. Or you can use just one earbud. The ubiquity of headphones has caused a 300 percent upsurge in pedestrian accidents, and 70 percent of those accidents are fatal.
7. Wear a Baseball Cap and Clear Glasses
Both accessories do well to protect you from low-hanging objects such as tree branches. Glasses deter bugs and debris from hitting your face or contaminating your eyes.
8. Switch up Your Route
Make sure you’re familiar with any route you choose, but varying your course can protect you from potential attackers lurking in dark or isolated areas along your usual route. It’s a smart idea to find several different routes you’re comfortable with and run them throughout the week instead of trying to run down new paths at night.
9. Exercise With a Friend
Not only is it more fun, but you gain more strength in numbers during adverse situations. It’s also a good way to catch up with people you might not often see otherwise.
10. Make Eye Contact With Drivers at Intersections
Making eye contact can reduce your risk of getting struck by a vehicle and helps the driver be more aware of your position.
11. Run in Well-Lit Areas
Working out in bright areas helps you to be seen by pedestrians and cars, and helps you see as well. For example, run at a local track, a sidewalk in a more populated area or along the main street where there are restaurants, shops and other nightlife.
12. Wear Layers
As it gets colder during your run, you will want to make sure you’re not getting chilled or overheated if you have too many layers on. Wear clothing you can adjust while you’re running.
13.Track Your Route With an App
If you got lost or need assistance, some apps have emergency features that can notify several of your friends if you’re in a dangerous situation. For example, if you’re feeling scared, you injured yourself, or you can’t find your way back, a running app can assist you.
14. Carry Your ID
Whether it’s in your phone case, pocket or an ID tag, your ID is helpful for first responders during an emergency.
15. Take Your Phone
Although it’s always a good idea to disconnect from the digital world when running, your mobile can be your first go-to in case of an emergency like twisting your ankle, fainting, being attacked or getting lost. Place your phone in your pocket or on an armband to use the maps features, for emergency calls or if you need a ride home.
16. Run With a Dog
Not only does a canine provide more protection, but it’s nice to have another companion to keep you motivated.
17. Gear up With Smart LED Technology
If you find yourself needing more light to enhance your viewpoint through your nightly exercise, rely on hands-free technology that allows you to see what is in front of you. The right amount of light will help you avoid risks and be more visible.
Panther Vision is all about supporting you in finding the motivation to exercise. But keep in mind that safety should be your priority. Making sure you wear the right gear can save your life in many situations. It’s a simple step you can take that you will be thankful for when you take on your first run. Being visible to others and seeing what’s in front of you is fundamental in preventing injuries and accidents to yourself and others.
Best Night Running Safety Gear
When we mention night running lights to take with you on your workout, we aren’t referring to lanterns or having to run only in places with light poles. Panther Vision manufactures a collection of light solutions that help you take on your night exercises. From our hands-free Powercaps™ and Lightspecs™ to our Button Lamp™ and Flateye™ flashlights, you will find that our uncommon solutions for common problems are accessible and functional.
If you’re thinking of what to wear running at night, Panther Vision has you covered with our line of Powercaps™. Both the baseball caps and beanies deliver hands-free, LED lighting to help you jump over sticks, dodge potholes and be seen by oncoming traffic. As the sun begins to set and the moon gives you a bit of light for your run, slip on a Powercap™ to shine a light on your unclear strides ahead. Not only do our patented designs have LED lights but they also are made of reflective material to increase the safety of you and others.
Our equipment can help keep night runners safe whether you’re out for a refreshing exercise in the summer or completing a full workout in the colder months with snow well on its way. Our Powercap™ fleece hats will keep you insulated, and our hats will provide the right amount of ventilation as needed.
The LED lights we use in our caps are more than safety lights for runners at night. You can implement our beanies or hats into daily life or for things such as hiking, camping, automobile maintenance and much more. Panther Vision LED lighted caps have lithium coin cell batteries and are functional for when you’re in need of light but don’t want to hold anything.
Instead of a lack of light or even weather getting in your way of pounding out that mile or quick sprint around the neighborhood, rely on Powercap™. Our products are ideal for athletes who need extra light when running in the dark and even workers who need light in hard to reach places with hands-free options.
The Power Within the Panther
Panther Vision delivers unique solutions for daily difficulties such as exercising at night — or performing any activity where you need a bit of extra shine. We strive to provide smarter lighting products that you may not have ever known existed. We want to make your lives more comfortable and offer a fresh viewpoint when it comes to our Powercaps™. Our experts purge conventional solutions and replace them with our LED technology and hands-free lighting.
Backed by a limited lifetime warranty, our products are ready to light up your view. Panther professionals are outdoors people, too. So, we know all about the need for comfort, safety and accessibility. We do our part to preserve the environment by manufacturing our products with recycled material.
Brighten Your View With Our Night Running Safety Gear
Order our Powercaps™ online and be prepared to put your best running foot forward. No more tripping over branches or potholes, no more feeling unsafe and no more invisible exercising where you blend into the bushes, buildings and parked cars. Stay safe no matter how many hills you conquer or how many sprints you undertake. If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to contact us. We look forward to helping light your way soon.