Running is one of the most beneficial forms of exercise on the planet. A form of aerobic exercise, it raises both your heart rate and respiratory rate -- all while building stronger muscles and bones in the process. If you're planning to go running or jogging at night, however, you should take precautions to protect against physical injury. With less visibility, the risk of injury is greater when running at night than during the day.
Avoid Curved Routes
Don't make the mistake of choosing a curved or winding route for your nighttime runs. The problem with curved and winding routes is that it restricts visibility for both you and motorists. If you turn a sharp corner, a vehicle could be on the other side. To lower your risk of injury, choose a straight route for your nighttime runs.
Choose a Lamp-Illuminated Route
In addition to being relatively straight, you should choose a route that's illuminated with roadside lamps for your nighttime runs. Most roads, of course, have lamps. When the sun goes down, these roadside lamps will automatically turn on. Unfortunately, some roads are better illuminated than others. If you're going to run during the nighttime hours, make sure the route is well-illuminated with an appropriate number of roadside lamps.
Go Against the Flow of Traffic
While it's typically best to cycle with the flow of traffic, the opposite is true for running. When running, you should go in the opposite direction as the traffic. In other words, run on the left side of the road so that you see oncoming vehicles. If you run with the flow of traffic, vehicles will come up on you from behind. As a result, you may fail to see or heart them in enough time to take evasive action if they get too close.
Wear Reflective Clothes or Gear
Always wear reflective clothes or gear when running at night. The purpose of reflective clothes and gear is to make yourself more visible to motorists. When a vehicle comes toward you at night, its headlights will reflect back if you wear reflective clothes or gear.
Leave Off the Headphones
Finally, avoid wearing headphones when running at night. There's nothing wrong with listening to your favorite tunes when running on a treadmill. But when you're outdoors, you need your sense of hearing to stay alert. If you wear headphones, you won't be able to hear oncoming vehicles, which could lead to injury.