Running is a great way to stay in shape, but runners with busy schedules often find themselves without enough daylight to fit everything in. Rather than submitting to running on a treadmill at the gym, many runners choose to exercise at night.
Running in the dark can be a dangerous pursuit. However, there are several things runners can do to better ensure safety like choosing not to wear headphones and running along well lit streets. For additional safety, many nighttime runners are also choosing athletic wear that is designed to make them more visible in low light conditions.
For the Torso
Athletes can choose from a wide variety of t-shirts and jackets that will make them more visible. Choosing colors like white, yellow and orange is advisable. Also, many of these items are equipped with reflective surfaces. Some of these pieces may be covered by reflective material while others feature reflective trim or accents. When in doubt, the best choice is a top in a color like white or bright yellow with plenty of reflective additions.
Some runners are also making use of lightweight mesh vests when they run at night. These are usually available in bright safety colors and again feature reflective materials. As a bonus, many of these safety vests are also equipped with lights for extra visibility. The appeal of these vests is that they can turn any athletic wear into clothing that is highly visible during the nighttime hours.
For the Legs
Many athletic wear manufacturers are producing shorts and pants that have reflective material that is similar to that found on tops and jackets. Although runners may feel like their look is obnoxiously bright, safety precautions like wearing reflective tops and bottoms can actually prevent accidents and may even save lives.
Arms and Feet
From a distance, it may be difficult to distinguish if light is reflecting from a stationary object or a runner. That’s why it generally makes sense to put reflective material or lights on the arms or feet. Many athletic shoe manufacturers make reflectivity a basic component of some of their products. Some runners are also beginning to use arm bands with flashing lights to signal their approach to oncoming drivers. Measures like these can effectively make runners more visible even in the lowest light.
Accessories and Pets
Headlamps and lighted waist bands are useful accessories for the dedicated late night runner. Similarly, many runners are wearing hats that serve dual purposes. First, a hat with a bill prevents branches and other objects that are obscured by the low light conditions from hitting runners in the face. Second, many of these hats now feature lights in the bill. These hats help runners see where they are going and make them more visible.
Many runners bring a four legged friend along for their late night runs. These best friends can also be made more visible if they are wearing a reflective collar or have a flashing light that dangles from their collar.