To lose weight, be healthy, and feel great about your body, you must fit exercise into your schedule. There are innumerable benefits to exercising early in the morning, but you may find that you are only able to slot in a workout session after sundown or even late at night. Maybe that’s the only free time you have. Maybe you are a night owl with energy to burn at night. Working out can be a great way to de-stress. With an evening workout, there’s the added relaxation of not having to rush to the office afterward.
For people who experience early morning joint stiffness, a late evening workout can be more enjoyable as the body is more warmed up and the joints are loose from the day’s activities. No matter what activity you choose to do during your evening session, your safety is of utmost importance.
Safety Measures for your Night Jaunt
Boxers can benefit from incorporating both aerobic and anaerobic cross-training into their program. If you like to go jogging, cycling, running, or walking at night, keep the following safety measures in mind. Though it may be daylight when you start out, you need to take precautions to ensure your safety when the sun sets. Here are some things to consider before hitting the road after dark:
It’s best not to use an iPod or similar devices to listen to music while out on your nighttime jog. It’s important that you stay alert during your evening exercise session and not get distracted by the music. Night time drivers might not expect a jogger or cyclist, or might be experiencing reduced visibility, so they may not be as aware of your presence as they would be during the day. By leaving your earphones at home and remaining alert, you will be able to hear impending danger before you see it.
Stay in Touch
Carry a cell phone with you at all times. Set your speed dial numbers to contacts or first responders in case of emergencies. Apps like SafeTrek are designed to automatically call for help should a situation arise while you are exercising at night.
Make Your Whereabouts Known
It’s best to tell someone before you head out for your run. Tell them an estimated time for your return and which route you will be taking. Apps like RunKeeper allow your contacts to track your progress live during events. This function can also be used as a precautionary measure while exercising alone at night.
Ensure you have identification with you along with any notes about medications you take that a medical alert team needs to know about, in case of any medical emergencies. While this may seem over-cautious, it’s best to be prepared before hitting the streets.
Follow the Rules of the Road
Whether you are a cyclist or a pedestrian, always follow the traffic rules. If there are sidewalks, you must use them for running. If there are no sidewalks, rather than jogging in the same flow as the traffic, run in the opposite direction so that you can see the oncoming vehicles. Only cross at crosswalks when it is safe to do so. If there are no such spots, take extra precautions while crossing the road. In most countries, cyclists have to obey same rules as the car drivers and they have to cycle in the same direction as the main traffic.
What to Look for in Reflective Gear
Wearing reflective clothing while running, walking, or bicycling at night is very important. Even though you may feel you can watch out for yourself and stay safe, the driver of the oncoming vehicle may be looking elsewhere and may not spot you until it’s too late.
Even if you are on the sidepath and not the road, it’s important to be alert. A driver may pull over to the edge of the road without realizing someone is in their path. Wearing reflective clothing ensures that you can be spotted from a significant distance. Many brands, like Under Armour, carry reflective shoes and sportswear.
Joggers are at more risk than cyclists, as a fast moving cycle with lights and reflectors may still be spotted by oncoming vehicles unlike a slower jogger in the dark. If you cannot afford to buy reflective gear, then you can put reflective stickers on your clothing. More reflective area means more visibility and safety.
Reflective Shoes and Shoe Covers
Reflective shoes with 360° reflective materials keep you safer during low-light runs.
Look for shoe covers that are waterproof with sealed seams that keep the water out. Lock-zips at the heel makes them easier to wear and these also ensure that the zipper doesn’t come undone during use.
Reflective Ankle Bands and Headbands
Moving objects are more eye-catching than stationary objects. Reflective gear on the ankles is noticeable because of the movement involved, especially in cyclists. Reflective Headbands with all-over reflective print can also help make you much more noticeable in the darkness.
Reflective helmets help keep you visible, and in doing so help keep you safer. The Reflect360 Bike Helmet turns from a casual gray color to a brilliant white when hit by light. The reflective surface is not stuck on over the shell; it is incorporated into the helmet using millions of tiny, mirrored glass beads.
Waterproof Helmet Cover
If you already have a helmet, but it’s not reflective, you can consider investing in a reflective helmet cover that doubles as rain protection. It’s small enough to pack in your pocket as a backup if your workout extends into the night.
Reflective T-shirts and Vests
Reflective vests can be worn over any other clothing to help you more visible in the dark. Windproof and water resistant vests can help protect against the cold weather. Check out this Men’s UA Run Reflective T-Shirt, the graphics and logos on it provide 360° reflectivity for safer low-light runs.
7 Tips for a More Effective Night Time Workout
Cardio and Strength Training: Choose an activity you love to do. Activities like boxing, jogging, cycling or swimming can be done at any time of the day. Plan for two to three strength training sessions in a week. Bodyweight exercises and dumbbell workouts can be done at home.
Night Training Coaches: You can head out to a gym if you can time your late evening workout before the gym closes for the night. If you prefer to workout at night, sign up for an 8:30 pm Boom Session with your favorite Gloveworx coach.
Stay Motivated: It may feel more difficult to do a workout after a long tiring day at the office. It is most important that you schedule in a specific time slot in your calendar to ensure that you have time. Finding ways to stay motivated will help you stick with your schedule.
Stay Hydrated: If you feel nauseous during your workout, this may mean you are dehydrated. Drink water before, during and after your workouts, as needed to stay hydrated. Consider drinking sports drinks with electrolytes to replace the ones you lose during your training session.
Early Dinner: If you are planning to workout at night, have an early dinner at least an hour before the workout so you don’t feel sluggish. You can also have a light post-workout meal. Have a protein-rich meal with lots of vegetables and some healthy carbohydrates, such as a grilled chicken breast with some green salad and a small bowl of brown rice.
Bedtime: Regular exercise leads to enhanced sleep, but exercising just before you go to bed can make it difficult for you to fall asleep as your engines are still revved up. Plan your workout a few hours before bedtime to allow the body to cool down and relax.
Social Life: Make sure you slot in adequate time to spend with your friends and family. Your night workout plans may end up interfering with your social life. Social isolation can lead to depression and other emotional issues which may ultimately end up interfering with your training plans.
Seize the Night
Planning an evening workout can make it tempting to bail out at the last minute, especially if you had a long, tiring day. Gyms tend to overcrowded in the early evening hours, though you may find it a little better as the night progresses.
Night time workouts have a lot of benefits. Once you understand and learn how to overcome its drawbacks, you can reap all those benefits more effectively. Gloveworx sessions are available from early morning at 6:00 a.m. until 9:30 p.m. at night to fit your scheduling needs and help you Become Unstoppable.