Night time running is not for everyone. Subject to geographical location, it could bring danger – with all manner of individual lurking outside at night, just waiting to cause trouble. Additionally, also subject to location, is the weather; if you, too, are a UK resident, nighttime running (especially at this time of year) can be a wet, miserable experience which might bring cold or flu. With nights bringing in the darkness early this time of year, at least in the western world, you might also want to avoid nighttime running if you are the slightest bit nyctophobic – that being fearful of the dark. However, if you do not have these problems – or can at least overlook them – then night time running can be a beautiful, detoxifying, almost therapeutic escape from the digital world and society as a whole.
The Benefits of Night Time Running
The Running High
For this writer, running at night provides the latter – that aforementioned, therapeutic escape from the modern world. Working five days a week in the classroom as a secondary school teacher and being constantly surrounded by family in home life, that 30-60 minutes of night time running grants the opportunity to clear the clouds in one’s mind; to run in silence (though with headphones in) without the pressures of day-to-day work and life. It is joyous, cleansing and we cannot recommend it enough to readers. With the nighttime typically bringing cooler weather, also, you can expect a boost from this – a welcomed stabilizer which might just help you to reach your running targets far faster than you would in the daytime. Additionally, there are far less people around, meaning that you won’t be bumping into passer-byes as you run.
If you are also in a high-stress job and looking for a way to unwind for an hour in the evenings, then nighttime running might be for you, too. One of the best ways to de-stress is through exercise; it tires you out, can make you happier (especially when you meet your targets, as there is no greater feeling) and, most obviously, and most importantly, it will make you healthier. So long as you are able to run at night safely and efficiently, you will grow to enjoy it and reap the benefits of the certain results it will bring. Health and fitness website Night Tech Gear does a tremendous job of explaining some of the benefits of nighttime running.
Not Without Problems
As mentioned in our opening paragraph, there are definitely problems with nighttime running. Crime is still persistent in the world and a majority of these crimes do take place at night. Speaking from a UK perspective, the news is rife currently with high profile crimes against women, especially, being on the rise. Therefore, if you do decide to take up nighttime running, please do ensure that you do so in a safe environment. If you have friends or family – or the ability to form a running group with like-minded individuals – willing to run with you, seek their company. You will be safer, happier and more motivated by the prospect of having someone join you on your runs. There are clear and obvious dangers with nighttime running, so do ensure you take the necessary safety precautions to protect yourself.
Additionally, you might be running in an area where bicycles, cars and other vehicles are present. Therefore, to avoid serious injury, seeking the correct safety equipment is a must. Whether it be glow-in-the-dark fluorescent running gear (and shoes) or a light to attach to either your body, arm or legs, it is worth investing in some good gear to bring that added layer of protection to ensure your safety.
Running for the First Time
If you read this article and decide on taking up running for the first time, then we might recommend looking into a free app which provides a running schedule. It will help you to set and meet your targets, as well as provide you with a safe, not-to-strenuous schedule suited to your current fitness and capability levels. For UK readers, we suggest the esteemed NHS Couch to 5K app which has taken the country by storm; turning formerly unfit “couch potatoes” into regular, super fit runners. Running at nighttime can be a perfect fit for new runners, too, as the aforementioned benefits of cooler weather/less people can help you if you have concerns about running in public. We can’t recommend running enough; it will make you fitter both physically and mentally – bringing a vast array of health benefits if done regularly enough. If you can do so safely and securely, nighttime running might just be what you need to go further.
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