Embracing the dark side: #workout safely in the dark

This guy gets it This guy gets it Zero-dark-thirty arrives too early for all of us who do our best #running, #walking, or #cycling #outdoors. Some of us transition somewhat well to the treadmill or wind trainer, but many of us would prefer to brave the now-dim outdoors. If you can’t face the gym, make sure you put some safety measures in place (many of which we should be doing anyway).
  • Illuminate yourself. Wear bright colors and reflective items - you can’t have too many. Choosing a reflective jacket, hat and gloves provides warmth and safety.
  • Light your path. Invest in a quality LED headlamp, and cyclists, make sure you have a working light on your bike.
  • Don’t wear earbuds. I know this one met with some groaning, but you know I’ve got a point: darkness increase the odds of us being struck by a vehicle or being assaulted by someone. Enjoy the sounds of nature.
  • Go against traffic. While walkers can safely workout on the sidewalks, runners often can’t. If you aren’t in the habit of running against traffic, adopt it now. You can react to a vehicle you see ahead of you more quickly and safely.
  • Carry your ID, phone, emergency contact number and blood type. Write this information on an index card in waterproof ink, laminate it, and put it in a zipper pocket of your reflective jacket, or invest in an ID bracelet. Cyclists, make sure you have this information on your person and not just on your bike, in case you and your bike are separated in an incident.
  • Take a partner. Whether it’s a neighbor or your dog, a partner is an effective safety precaution, crime deterrent, and solution to the no-music dilemma listed above.
  • Plan your route accordingly. Figure out your route in your car at the time you’ll be working out to determine which areas have streetlights and open businesses.
  • Share your workout (ahead of time, that is). Tell people close to you what your route is and when you’ll be back. There are several apps you can download to your phone that will share your route real time with people you choose.