5 Tips for Running and Walking After Dark


Now that the days are getting shorter, you may find yourself logging your 10,000 steps after the sun sets. Whether you are running or walking, making a few tweaks to your regular routine can help keep yourself and your workouts safe when the light starts to fade. Here are five ways to do it:

Get Reflective

When you’re running or walking in low light conditions, it’s important to be seen. Pick up some fitness gear that features reflective strips or details. Many running jackets have it, as do sneakers. You can also slap a reflective strap (about $5 at sporting goods stores) on each arm, wear a reflective vest, or purchase small, blinking lights that can be attached to your shoes.

Wear a Headlamp

Lighting your path with a headlamp is a good idea when walking or running in areas that don’t have street lights, or places where the path might be uneven—that beam can help prevent trips and falls. There are several featherweight models available online and in sporting goods stores, and snagging one doesn’t have to break the bank. Prices for basic models start around $15.

Stay Warm

Remember that once the sun sets, the temperature will drop—and in some locales, several degrees—fast. If the second half of your run or walk will be in the dark, it’s wise to wear a breathable long-sleeve top, or jacket. If you’re worried about becoming too warm during your workout, consider wearing layers, or start out with a light jacket tied around your waist.

Mind Traffic

If you have a sidewalk to walk on, by all means use it. But if you’re out running on the road, remember to run facing traffic, so you can see lights from a distance, and have plenty of time to get out of the way. It’s also a good idea to skip headphones, so you can hear approaching cars. If you can’t bear stepping sans tunes, wear your headphones in one ear only.

Step Out with Friends

Unless it’s Halloween, dark streets can sometimes be empty, so it’s always a good idea to buddy up. There is safety in numbers—and for reasons you may not always consider. It is easier for cars to see two people rather than one, for example. And you can always loan your friend your jacket!

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