Fitness Articles

Safety Tips for Nighttime Exercisers

Because You Can Never be Too Careful

By Leanne Beattie, Health & Fitness Writer         
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Everyone knows how important it is to maintain a regular fitness routine, but sometimes the day is so jam-packed with other responsibilities that exercising during daylight hours is next to impossible. However, if you like to exercise outdoors, there are some safety issues to consider if you’re going out after dark (or before sunrise).

Plan Ahead for Safety
Staying safe at night requires a bit of planning. Here are some things to consider before heading outside:
  • Plan your route and tell someone where you will be. Let your friends or family members know when to expect you back and make sure they know your exercise route.
  • Carry a cell phone at all times. It’s also a good idea to locate all public telephones along your route in case your phone is lost or stolen along the way.
  • Carry identification. Bring a driver’s license or some sort of ID tag. At the very least, make sure you name, phone number and emergency medical information is printed inside of your shoe or on a card in your pocket.
  • Don’t wear jewelry or carry money. This can help reduce your risk of being targeted for a robbery.
  • Dress to be seen. Wear reflective materials and bright colors so drivers can see you easily. Although most running shoes now have reflective materials built into them, you can increase your visibility by wearing specially designed running pants, shorts, jackets or even a reflective vest. Carry a flashlight or a flashing device to make you even more noticeable on dark streets. Continued ›
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About The Author

Leanne Beattie Leanne Beattie
A freelance writer, marketing consultant and life coach, Leanne often writes about health and nutrition. See all of Leanne's articles.

Member Comments

  • It says to not carry money to not be targeted. But how will a potential attacker know whether or not I have a $20 bill in my pocket? - 7/16/2014 9:35:12 PM
  • Great article. - 7/18/2013 7:32:50 AM
  • I live in a nice residential neighborhood but there are no sidewalks and no shoulder on the side of the road. Therefore, we don't like to walk in the dark. I've considered the reflective vests and maybe a headlamp, but feel like a real nerd wearing a headlamp....but I'd rather be a nerd than hit by a car. - 6/9/2013 2:00:49 PM
  • Good tips and reminders for all who walk or run. Best tip is about FACING ONCOMING TRAFFIC on roads where there are no sidewalks. Nothing is scarier to a driver than to come up behind someone, and I encounter far too many people who do not know of or obey this one very important rule. I usually shout 'WRONG SIDE!' out the window at them. - 6/28/2012 8:25:24 AM
    Great tips, but I do none of them other than have my dogs with me. - 4/29/2012 11:05:18 AM
  • Great tips but the flashing light thing is awful from the perspective of a driver. If you're going to use a light, don't use one that flashes because drivers have a hard time determining your location or distance. I know because I am both a walker/runner and a driver where there are LOTS of walkers, runners and cyclists. Cyclists tend to use the flashing lights most and I have a REALLY hard time pinpointing their location on the road at night. - 11/4/2011 10:11:25 AM
  • I'm not sure that I agree with the "don't carry your room card" and leave at the front desk. Most hotels will require you to show ID to get your card back and it can take quite a while if the staff are busy. I also think I would feel a bit exposed not having it when I re-entered the hotel. - 8/29/2011 11:22:56 PM
    MAIL4CINDI: I ordered a Road ID for myself. Thank you for the suggestion. Better safe than sorry. With shipping, it came to $21.48.

    They gave me a coupon that I could pass along. The coupon is good for $1 off any Road ID placed by 11/10/2009. Coupon Number: ThanksMartha55157
    - 10/12/2009 8:12:31 AM
  • Another tip for Day or Night when exercising outside is to carry a can of Mace in BOTH pockets, that way if someone grabs you from one side you can reach your other pocket. A retired Police Officer shared that with me. Also, if you can, taking Self defense is a good idea. - 10/9/2009 7:57:26 PM
  • Thank you for this article. I sometimes wonder if people are using their noggins when they are out at night, not visible, not paying attention etc.

    Nobody likes to think they will be a victim of crime, but awareness of our surroundings is key.

    I knew a young woman once who was struck and killed while jogging. It took awhile for her to be identified because she had no ID on her. Very sad. - 10/9/2009 9:39:49 AM
  • A great idea is to have a runner's ID tag. You can find different kinds at - 2/27/2009 1:31:14 PM
  • Although I feel I'm cognizant of these safety rules, it's always helpful to have them reinforced. Thanks! - 2/25/2009 12:06:24 PM
  • This was great. Thank you. - 2/23/2009 4:48:29 AM
  • Great article. - 6/29/2008 10:53:27 PM
  • i sometimes walk at 5 a.m. with my dog -- this is a great article as a reminder to not ever let your guard down when you exercise in the dark! thanks for the tips!
    - 4/12/2008 5:27:18 PM

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