Night Running 101 - Everything You Need to Know

Updated

“Difficult times bring in drastic changes in society.” We couldn’t agree more with this statement. With the COVID-19 pandemic gripping the whole world, fitness enthusiasts and regular gym goers reinvent the workout regime. You can see the change in the rising number of cyclists and joggers around the park or the beach.

Trying to fit in the daily activities while adapting to the new work from home scenario have all come to the forefront. Let’s not forget the bloggers sharing their individual experience of tackling the stress either by cooking, acquiring a new hobby, or drowning in a rigorous workout session. Each of us has a mantra to abide by, trying to motivate the other with little anecdotes.

It’s rare to find fitness enthusiasts embracing themselves to take a run during the night in such a situation. Some may consider this weird, and others may call them nocturnal. But trust us when we say fitness experts welcome this habit with open arms and recommend it as great for your health.

Benefits of Running at Night

Relieve Stress from the Day and Clear your Head

Had a hectic day at work? Do you feel the need to breathe some fresh air after a busy day with the kids? What could be the best way to unwind, other than going for a run? This would give you the quintessential “me time” and let you reflect on your whole day’s events. Self-reflection helps overcome the obstacles and provide hope for a better tomorrow. It also clears your mind of the day’s stress and negative energy.

Better Sleep

At times, even though your mind is exhausted, you might not be able to catch up on sleep. A good after-work night run would help your mind relax and leave you exhausted to get the therapeutic sleep that your body requires.

Encourages to Eat Healthy

Are you unable to overcome your night dessert craving, and it’s showing in your curves? Well, being a night runner helps you indulge in your cravings guilt-free as, by the end of the day, you would burn those calories before hitting the bed. A good night run would help you stick to a healthy eating routine. It would make you conscious of how you eat your meals as the food must be digested before beginning your workout session.

Avoid Social Obligations

Opting for a night run can also help you lead a disciplined life. You can avoid the ceremonially attended social gatherings, which often include alcohol and other unhealthy beverages. Instead, you can opt for lemonades, herbal teas, or fresh fruit juices.

Good for Your Health

A good run is great for the body, regardless of what time of the day you go. However, nighttime runs are proven to help your body function at a higher level and improve blood circulation. Studies show that a good nighttime run proves to be more fruitful than in the early morning, with accelerated weight loss and healthy heart rate.

Drawbacks of a Night Run

Decreased Visibility

The darkness of night can cause vision issues and affect the pace of a run. It can also lead to accidents. At times, you might not see the road and get hurt due to a hard stone or a manhole.

Limited Area to Run

Instead of avoiding unsafe encounters and accidents, many of us don’t go far from home for a run. This leads to restriction in the running area and gradually loss of interest in the activity.

Must have Night Running Gear

When you choose to go for a night run, you must buy the right gear to have a comfortable run. Below is a list of gear that you should consider for your next night run.

Reflective shorts or leggings / Running Vest

Reflective wear would help you go for a run with a secure feeling in mind and heart. These wears are meant to make you quickly noticeable in the night darkness. Night run wear offers varied reflective running shorts, leggings, and vest wear choices. Pick the one according to your liking and comfort, go for your run.

Running Belts

If wearing reflective shorts or a reflective vest around your body makes you feel uncomfortable like flashing lights. You can always opt for reflective belts available in the market. These you can wear around your waist on your workout clothes and are very lightweight. The belts are made of super soft material and offer 360-degrees reflection. Many brands provide a facility for holding your card, cash, car or house keys, and this belt.

Headlamps

Headlamps make for attractive gear and the right choice for an energetic night run. These are lightweight and can be tight around your head. Headlamps produce enough light for you to have a good run without any falls. To attract nature lovers, these lamps are available with LED bulbs and operate with batteries’ help. The lamps come with a multi-color option and are waterproof as well.

Handheld lights

A few night runners prefer to go for a run holding a flashlight in hand. Handheld lights are a step ahead and easy to handle.

Bracelets / Arm Bands

Facing a rainy day and running out of your workout wear? Well, you can always make use of armbands or strips. These are quite handy and can be used directly on your skin or the clothes you wear. They are affordable and are easy to handle. Or you can go for bracelets that come in varied shapes, and you can wear them as a watch.

Phone

At any time, it is always advised to carry your phone along with you for personal safety. You never know when you would face an emergency. Also, don’t forget to download the tracking app so that your loved ones are aware of your location.

Night Running Tips and Safety

Pick a well-lit area

Go for a run where you have adequate lighting. Don’t go for a run where you would find dark alleys or passages. Make sure the running area is neither too crowded where car drivers honk at you. Nor go for a nighttime run in small desolate passages. Make sure if you cry for help, there should be someone to help you.

Keep loved ones informed

Well, it is always good to push your boundaries and go for the long-distance run. But don’t go very far from home, and if you plan to go far, keep your family informed of your location.

Wear comfortable clothes

For any workout session wear apt clothes that would help you do your workout better. Wear dry fit clothes so that the sweat is absorbed and the sweat doesn’t make you feel uncomfortable. Also, pick your clothes that suit the weather.

Wear reflective clothes

Wearing the right wear along with the right colors is highly imperative. Remember, a night run brings in with itself darkness. It is advised to wear reflective wear. If not, wear reflective gear which would help anyone to identify you and you won’t get lost or hit in the night.

Choose a visible running area

As stated before, pick your running area carefully. Don’t go for a run on highways where you have fewer human activities. It is always recommended to go for a run along the beach, park, or your main roads.

Eat a pre-workout snack

A night run calls for early dinner during the evening hours; that’s why you need to have good snacks throughout the day. Plan your diet chart and mark the timing of your meals. This would help you not starve and save enough energy for your run.

Eat a post-workout snack

Post-workout it is unavoidable to feel starved and the need to fill your stomach. Pay attention and pick a light but the protein-filled dish as your post-workout snack.

Choose a comfortable bed

After an exhaustive day and content full workout all, you would look forward to a soft bed. Keep your bed clean and fresh, firm mattress and a supportive pillow to have a good night’s sleep.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the best time to run at night?

Although a good workout is appreciated at any time of the day, researchers vouch for a good evening or a night run. A good night run helps you lower your blood pressure, heart function better, and relieve stress. On a brighter note, those who choose to go for a night run don’t have to wake up early for work, press the snooze button, and spoil their sleep.

But on a serious note, it depends on individual choice and daily schedule. If you are going for a run to attain better health, then choose to go during late evenings.

Is running at night bad?

According to scientists, night running reaps more benefits than in the morning. As stated early, a good night’s run would relieve you from whole stress, boost heart functioning, lower blood pressure, and at times can answer your insomnia.

How do you stay safe when running at night?

Night running requires you to pay attention to safety concerns. A wise way to handle this would be wearing reflective gears, carrying a handheld torch, reflective wear, not venturing in dark alleys, carrying your phones with tracking apps installed.

Conclusion

Exercising is a good habit and a must with the hectic lifestyle we lead in these difficult times. Be wise and don’t neglect your health; it doesn’t matter what time of the day you go for your run. As long as you go for a good run of about 40 minutes, it should help you stay fit.

Create a routine for yourself and try to stick to it. Balance the pros and cons mentioned above, take your call, and stick to a schedule today.

Get those feet moving. Happy running!

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