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Benefits of running at night

53The mercury is rising and with the heat starting off as early as 7am these days, people who work out regularly, especially runners, experience some kind of difficulty running in the sun.

Maybe it is time you switched over to running at night, not just to gain some respite from the heat, but also to get healthy. Summer nights, especially, provide the perfect atmosphere to run — with less traffic and of course, a cooler weather, which makes it more comfortable to run. Here are some benefits of working out or running at night.

There is a general perception that working out or running at night, causes the release of endorphins and other stimulants which prevent the body from feeling sleepy. However, a study conducted at the University of South Carolina revealed that people who exercised for an hour or two, before bedtime, in fact, had no trouble nodding off. Their sleep was monitored, and it was found that they actually slept better.

Choosing your treadmill over the TV at night (especially after a long day at work), can be hard, but make sure you have the right kind of work regimen or a specified time limit, if you are running. If you are a night bird, you will be surprised to know that you can push yourself harder, for longer periods of time. This is because muscular function and strength peaks in the evening hours. However, take caution to ensure that you stick to the regimen and don’t deviate from it.

A good night’s rest following a workout can lead to calmer mornings. If you are a working professional, you can reduce your morning rush by running in the night. You don’t need to rush through your morning run. A calm morning can go a long way in setting the tone for the rest of the day.

Useful tips to remember

Remember to carry a torch with you, especially if you choose to go on a particularly dimly lit trail.

It may help to run with a group of buddies, especially women, just to be safe. Moreover, running in a group makes you visible to approaching vehicles.

If you are running at night for the first time, it may help to ease into the process.

Start with shorter trails and then move on to longer ones, once you get accustomed to the terrain.

Make sure you wear bright clothes while running, so that you are visible in the dark. Yellows, neon colours work best.