For today's office workers, there is very little time for rest, and they are usually busy with work during the day. They often find a small window of time for physical exercise only after finishing work at night. Due to limited time, many people choose night running as their exercise routine. So, is running at night good or bad? What should you pay attention to when night running?
Is Running at Night Good or Bad?
We all know that there is no sunlight when running at night, which means you are not exposed to the threat of UV rays, unlike running during the day. When you run during the day, your body sweats, which is caused by the heat generated from the sun's exposure, i.e., UV rays. In contrast, during night running, there is no sunlight, and you'll feel cooler during the run. While your body still sweats, this sweat is solely a result of the heat generated by running, meaning it's healthy sweat.
Of course, some individuals are concerned about their appearance and dislike sweating heavily while running. If you run at night, you don't need to worry about this because the lighting is dim, and you are less likely to be noticed. Night running directly affects your sleep. After a certain period of metabolism, the body generates a sense of fatigue. Night running helps you quickly enter a state of sleep. It improves the quality of your sleep, enhances work efficiency, and reduces work-related stress.
People who run at night often have good-looking skin because they are not exposed to UV radiation. Their skin tends to become fairer and may help reduce swelling in certain areas. Additionally, if you've had a challenging or stressful day, you can release your pent-up emotions through running, which can have a positive impact on your mood.
Precautions for Night Running:
1. To avoid accidents, night runners can wear brightly colored or reflective vests.
2. Choose routes with streetlights and moderate pedestrian traffic.
3. It's best not to wear headphones while running at night. If you must wear them, keep the volume low.
4. Avoid carrying valuable items during night runs; just take your phone and keys.
5. Run against the direction of traffic to ensure that oncoming vehicles can see you.
6. Women night runners should try to run with a companion and avoid running alone.
7. Opt for areas with fewer plants during night runs to avoid increased CO2 absorption by plants.
8. Do not sweat excessively, as it can make you susceptible to colds. Avoid taking a shower immediately after a run, as it can increase the risk of illness.
9. Night running for fitness is best done at least three times a week for 30-60 minutes each time.
10. Keep the exercise intensity within a range where your heart rate does not exceed 120 beats per minute after 5 minutes of running and does not exceed 100 beats per minute after 10 minutes.
11. If your heart rate is too high, reduce the exercise intensity. If you can exercise and have a conversation at the same time, it indicates an appropriate exercise intensity.
12. Before night running, eat a light meal, not too full. Choose foods rich in protein and easily digestible carbohydrates. Also, ensure adequate hydration before exercise with water, soup, or fruit juice.
13. Avoid running immediately after a full meal as it can affect digestion. It's best to finish night running before 10 PM to ensure better sleep quality.
14. Nighttime exercise for 30 to 60 minutes is ideal. Shorter durations may not effectively burn fat, while longer durations can lead to excessive fatigue and sleep disturbances.
15. Wear moisture-wicking and breathable clothing for running. Avoid dark-colored clothing. Reflective elements on clothing are recommended to enhance visibility and reduce the risk of accidents.
16. Use reflective armbands, arm pouches, warning lights, chest lights, and croc lights if necessary.
17. Especially for female night runners, it's best not to run alone. Inform friends or family about your running route. If running with a stranger, ask for identification and inform someone you trust.
18. Choose well-lit areas for night running.
19. Preferably, choose areas with surveillance.
20. Avoid running too late at night.
Morning Exercise vs. Night Running: Which is Better?
For office workers, finding time for exercise is challenging due to their busy schedules. Many people choose either morning exercise or night running as their primary form of physical activity. So, which is better: morning exercise or night running? Experts point out that both morning exercise and night running can be effective, but it's essential to follow the right approach.
Morning Exercise Benefits:
- Morning exercise is a source of vitality and kickstarts your day with an "on-switch" effect.
- It can make you feel energetic and reduce anxiety while improving sleep quality.
- Morning exercise enhances respiratory capacity and metabolism, improving vascular elasticity and oxygen intake capacity.
Considerations for Morning Exercise:
1. Avoid eating breakfast immediately before morning exercise to prevent stomach discomfort.
2. Hydrate with a moderate amount of lukewarm water about 30 minutes before exercising.
3. Do not sit down immediately after morning exercise to avoid muscle cramps and support blood circulation.
4. Do not eat immediately after morning exercise, as your body is still in an active state.
Night Running as a Stylish Choice:
Modern life is fast-paced, and finding time for exercise can be challenging. Night running has become a popular choice among urban professionals. Nighttime allows people to release their pent-up energy accumulated throughout the day. The cooler nighttime temperatures are more suitable for running. For those who suffer from insomnia, night running can be a boon. It can induce a slight sense of fatigue, and soaking your feet in warm water after the run can promote deep and refreshing sleep.
Night running is adaptable to modern lifestyles, as it takes advantage of the higher oxygen levels in the air after a day of photosynthesis by plants.
Precautions for Night Running:
- Choose well-lit and familiar routes for night running.
- Perform warm-up exercises before night running, such as leg presses and squats.
- Dress appropriately to stay warm, especially after the run to prevent catching a cold.
- Avoid running immediately after a heavy meal.
- Night running can be done after a light meal, and it doesn't negatively impact sleep.
In conclusion, both morning exercise and night running have their advantages. The key is to follow the appropriate guidelines and adapt your routine to your schedule and personal preferences.