The Pros and Cons of Running at Night
Thousands of people choose running as their cardio exercise. It’s a great way to stay healthy, fit, and burn calories while spending some time outside. It gives you an opportunity to cut off from the worries and stress of everyday life. When someone says that they like running, we imagine them running in the morning, as most people do.
What about short winter days? You get up at 5:30 AM, and there’s still no sign of natural light? Some people are just not morning types, so a morning run immediately gets out of the question. This doesn’t mean that you should completely give up on the idea, because night runs can also be great, even though many people consider it a bad idea. However, night runs can even be more beneficial than morning ones. To stay fit, you have to remain consistent and true to yourself. Don’t turn into a couch potato, but read now about all the benefits of night runs.
Night Runs Are Energizing
According to one study, our bodies handle exercising better after sunset than at any other time of the day. We can push ourselves harder because our bodies use oxygen better due to better muscular function and strength. These factors combined lead to faster and better results and a healthier body. Also, running at night can make you feel like you’re running faster, which boosts your motivation to keep running.
Exercising just before you go to bed will cause problems with falling asleep. However, running or lifting weights in the evening has proven to be a great way for improving the duration and quality of sleep. So, night runs and evening exercises could be what you need if you wake up tired. Once you try this evening exercise routine, you will feel ready and rested for a new day every morning, although falling asleep might take you 5 minutes longer.
It’s early in the morning. The alarm on your smartphone starts buzzing, waking you up for your morning run before work. It’s going to be a stressful day with chaotic traffic, lazy coworkers, pressuring boss, and family issues – so you need to get pumped up and ready for it. However, stress levels will build up regardless of your nice, morning run. Instead of taking that anger with you to bed, go home, put on your sneakers, shirt, and sweatpants, go out and give it a run. For a daily exercise, even a short night jog will be enough. Blow off some steam, get rid of the negative stuff, take a quick shower, and go to bed relaxed.
Morning runs require time to prepare, time for breakfast and getting ready for work, so you have to get up really early. If you’re not an early bird, you’ll just get nervous and stressed out. Instead, you can reduce your morning obligations to a minimum and take it easy. Once you get home, hit the road or the gym, and you’ll notice that your mornings will be far less frantic.
Night Run Setbacks
We’re not here to discuss how night runs are the best thing in the world and how everyone should do it. It’s not for everyone, but if you haven’t tried it, do it and see if it will make your life better and simpler. Night runs also have their setbacks, so this is what you should also take into consideration, and pay more attention to when going out for your first runs.
- Safety. Running at night carries a risk because visibility is much lower if you’re running in the street, rather than on a well-lit track. Yes, there are fewer people, fewer cars in the streets, while noise is at the minimum – but that’s when people tend to relax, perhaps more than they can allow themselves. The first thing is to stay safe while running. Make sure not to wear dark clothing, and look for some quality LED wristbands to keep you safe during your night runs.
- Run in the right direction. The biggest mistake a night runner can make is to run in the same direction as traffic. Never turn your back, but always run against traffic so you can see vehicles coming your way. Otherwise, they may not notice you and you can’t notice them (especially if you wear earbuds during your runs), which can lead to an accident. It’s traffic, you have to rely more on yourself than on other traffic participants.
- Turn the music off. As mentioned above, listening to music while running can be dangerous. There’s no reason to reduce your sense of hearing when visibility is very low.
Night runs can really be better than early morning ones. There are many factors that may influence your decision, such as your daily schedule, but if you’ve never tried to run at night, give it a shot. Night runs may fit you better, and you don’t even know it.