Table of Contents:
- The Benefits of Running at Night
- Top Tips for Night Running
- Pay Attention to Your Surroundings
- Keep it Simple
- Run against Traffic
- Wear Bright, Vibrant and Reflective Colors
- Run Behind Cars at Intersections
- Wear a Baseball Cap and Clear Glasses
- Switch up Your Route
- Exercise With a Friend or Companion Animal
- Run in Well-Lit Areas
- Dress Appropriately
- Use an App
- Carry Your ID and Your Phone
- Gear up With Smart LED Technology
- Best Night Running Safety Gear
- The Power Within the Panther
- Brighten Your View With Our Night Running Safety Gear
Some people head indoors to train when the sun goes down, choosing to run on a treadmill or lift weights. Other people love the sights, smells and freedom of the outdoors and would rather stay outside when working out, no matter how dark it is. You don’t have to work out indoors just because the sun is setting.
Whether you run to unwind and relax at the end of the day or to maintain or improve your fitness levels, one of the challenges of late-night, outdoor running is a lack of visibility, especially during the winter when the sun sets early.
If you’re passionate about running at night or if the evening is the most convenient time you have available for a workout, it’s essential you stay safe. Following tips for running at night ensures you can stay safe outdoors and that you’ll be as visible as possible to others on the road or sidewalk.
The Benefits of Running at Night
We get it — running during the day isn’t always an option if you’re at work or it’s just too hot outside. Nighttime often brings cooler temperatures, less traffic and fewer pedestrians. For some, those perks make the evening hours the best for running. But there’s also less light during the night, reducing visibility and potentially increasing your risk of injury. Runners can suffer minor and major injuries if they’re unaware of what’s in front and behind them. In 2018, 6,283 pedestrian deaths occurred in the U.S., so it’s essential to be proactive about your safety.
Although it pays to think safety first, running at night isn’t exactly bad. You’re likely to find that evening exercise has multiple benefits, including.
- Maintaining an active lifestyle: Running at night can help keep you active. If you get home from work and lace up your running shoes, you’re less likely to park yourself on the couch and watch TV all night. Going for an evening run can give you a boost of energy so you’re ready to do some chores or other tasks when you return home.
- De-stressing: Taking a run after the sun sets also helps you de-stress. Running refreshes your mind, helps you think positively and gives you more energy to read one more chapter, look over your presentation or finalize any big plans.
- Encouraging healthy habits throughout the day: If you run at night, you may be more likely to make healthier decisions during the day. For example, you might decide to eat a healthier lunch rather than hitting the drive-through window. Eating a light lunch can help you with your weight loss goals and can help you feel better as you run. If you choose a salad with lean protein instead of a burger and fries, you may enjoy your evening run a lot more. Running at night also influences what you eat and drink at dinner. After a run, you might choose water rather than a beer or other type of alcoholic beverage with your meal.
- Improving sleep: Another benefit of running in the evening is better sleep. You’re more likely to fall asleep quickly if you schedule an evening run, especially if you’re the type of person who gets tired after exercising. To get the most benefit, schedule your evening run at least a couple of hours before bedtime. If you exercise too close to bedtime, you might disrupt your circadian rhythms.
Panther Vision has a few safety tips for running at night. Along with playing it safe, you can also check out our line of POWERCAP® LED Lighted Hats for exceptional visibility during your night run.
Top Tips for Night Running
The key to staying safe when running at night is to see and be seen. Increasing visibility lets drivers see you and lets you see and react to hazards such as branches, potholes, fences and puddles. Make it your biggest priority to stay visible and alert. While the following tips also hold true for daytime activities, they are even more crucial after sunset.
1. Pay Attention to Your Surroundings
Though running helps you clear your mind, it’s still important to pay attention to what’s happening around you. Make note of others on the road, including cars, pedestrians and fellow runners. If possible, don’t wear earbuds or headphones when you run, or wear them in just one ear. You need to be able to hear approaching cars, sirens and people. If you prefer to listen to something, choose a podcast or audiobook. Music can drown out noise, while listening to a voice may still allow you to hear what’s happening around you.
2. Keep It Simple
Instead of heading out along a 5-mile route, consider running along a 2.5-mile loop twice, so you don’t go 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 or along busy roads. Instead, stick to less-congested routes. You can also run on the sidewalk, if one is available, instead of in the street.
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 made of high-visibility fabrics. Your gloves, hats and shoes should have reflective properties, too. You can also wear a headlight. To make it easier for others to see the light, wear your reflective strip gear around your arms and legs, not around your waist.
5. Run Behind Cars at Intersections
You can be a defensive runner by assuming drivers aren’t looking out for you and remembering to look out for them. Run behind cars at intersections, not in front. The driver might not have seen you and could pull out into the street while you are in front of their car. Running behind vehicles also helps keep traffic moving and causes less confusion. When you come to an intersection, try to make eye contact with the drivers there, to confirm that they see you.
6. Wear a Baseball Cap and Clear Glasses
A hat and glasses protect you from low-hanging objects such as tree branches. A pair of glasses can keep bugs and debris from hitting your face or getting into your eyes. If you wear prescription glasses normally, it’s a good idea to keep them on when you run. Otherwise, choose a pair of protective goggles to keep things away from your face. You might also want to attach a strap to your glasses to reduce the chance of them falling off your face.
7. Switch up Your Route
Changing up your course can be a smart move, as it can reduce the risk of being mugged. Always make sure you are familiar with the route before you set off so you don’t get lost. You might want to pick out several different courses and rotate through them during the week.
8. Exercise With a Friend or Companion Animal
It’s more fun to run with a friend or two, not to mention safer. You can take turns planning routes and can lower the chance of having a confrontation with a stranger when you’re with someone else. It’s also a good way to catch up with people you might not often see otherwise. Plus, making a date to run with a friend helps you hold yourself accountable. You are more likely to go for a run if you know your friend is waiting for you.
If a friend isn’t available, consider bringing your dog with you on the run. Your canine companion provides an extra layer of protection for you. They may also enjoy the benefit of exercise if they’re running alongside you.
9. 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.
10. Dress Appropriately
Wearing layers helps you avoid getting overheated or being too cold during a run. Wear clothing made of moisture-wicking material closest to your body. The fabric should pull sweat away from you so you don’t become too cold as your sweat dries. Moisture-wicking fabrics, such as technical fabrics or wool, are also more comfortable to wear.
If you are going for a run on a chilly night, you might want to wear gloves and a beanie, too.
11. Use an App
If you got lost or need assistance, some apps have features that notify your emergency contacts. For example, if you’re feeling scared, you’re injured or you can’t find your way back, you can tap a button on an app to send a message to a contact. Along with keeping you safe, your app can help you keep track of your route and can tell you how many calories you’ve burned.
12. Carry Your ID and Your Phone
Tuck your ID card into your phone case, pocket or an ID tag when you go for a run at night. Emergency responders and medical professionals can use your ID to determine who to contact if you are injured or unconscious. It’s also a good idea to have your phone on you, even if you aren’t using an app. You can use it to call for help if needed. You might want to put emergency information into your phone, such as an “in case of emergency” (ICE) contact. Another option is to write out emergency instructions on a card and carry it with your phone and ID.
13. Gear up With Smart LED Technology
You might find yourself in a situation where you want more light during a nighttime run. Wearable LEDs light the path ahead of you while keeping your hands free. A hat or beanie with a built-in light keeps the path ahead illuminated, even if a street lamp has burned out or other sources of lighting aren’t available.
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 POWERCAP® hats and beanies and LIGHTSPECS® to our BUTTON LAMPS™ and FLATEYE™ flashlights, you will find 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 POWERCAP® hats and beanies. 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. Our patented designs have LED lights, and they 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 life 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.