Safety First, Then Fitness
Without a doubt the most important step in the transition to running or walking in the dark revolves around personal safety. No single workout is worth risking your overall health or well-being. Studies have shown that runners who wear multiple points of light on their bodies can be recognized by drivers from 6 times further away than those who don’t. Proper planning should allow you to get in your workout with minimal risk. Here are some tips to help.
- Always make sure you are wearing light colored clothing and reflective accessories. The ability of others to see you at night is directly related to the amount of reflective and light color material you wear.
- Wear a headlamp or carry a flashlight not only to see your way but to be seen by others as well.
- Make sure you have some sort of reflection below your knees. Car headlights point down, so this will be the first part of you they see.
- Have 360 degrees of visibility. It is important you have lights and reflectivity on the front and back.
- If possible always stay on the sidewalk and use the crosswalk. Avoid areas without sidewalks and crosswalks.
- If you must run or walk on the road always face traffic.
- If you exercise on the American River Parkway Trail, please remember to run facing bike traffic (on the left hand side of the trail), in the dirt if at all possible. And if you're running side by side, no more than one person on the pavement at a time.
- Find a friend to exercise with. It is always safer in groups.
- Don't wear headsets. Use your ears to be more aware of your surroundings.
- Bring a cell phone and carry identification in case of accident or injury.
- Don’t forget your furry friend! There are many great products to make sure your pooch is visible in the dark as well. Come by the store and check them out.