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Run safe this winter with these 5 top tips

Posted on: 19/11/2021

Now that the clocks have changed, the days are much shorter. All those hours of darkness can make it hard to motivate yourself to get out of the house and do some exercise. Safety is a valid concern too if you’re planning on doing something like running in the dark. But staying active during the winter months is so important for both your physical and mental wellbeing.

“Running is a great overall exercise for many people, but it’s important you stay safe in the winter months,” says Paul O’Connell, founder and lead physiotherapist at Bridge Health & Wellbeing in Christchurch, Dorset.

“Whether you are an early riser that likes a jog to start the day, or trying to squeeze in a run after work, you need to take extra precautions. Here are 5 top tips to keep you safe whilst running in the dark:

  1. Be seen and stay visible by illuminating yourself.

There are loads of options to help you be seen, so try what works for you. Head torches, clip-on lights, safety vests and reflective armbands and more. You can find plenty of products online or pop into Christchurch’s new Alexandra Sports store for a great range of products.

  1. Run together.

Running with a club or a friend is not only safer but it’s also great for motivation and support. It can hold you accountable to exercise, even on the days when you really don’t feel like it. There are lots of local running clubs across Dorset, including local ones in individual towns, women’s only groups and those that are more social. Ask at your local leisure centre or simply search online.

  1. Choose a well-lit route so you can be seen and see your surroundings.

When running in the dark you want to make sure that potential hazards like cars can see you. But you also need to be able to see where you are going, so that you can avoid trip hazards. Selecting a route that is well-lit not only means vehicles can pass safely, but also means that you are less likely to fall.

  1. Always run against the flow of traffic.

This allows you to see vehicles coming towards you on the same side of the road. Particularly in the dark, their headlights will give you an extra warning. Always try and move out of the way of cars if you can, for example, stepping onto the pavement if you’re on the road. Don’t assume that vehicles will see you in time to avoid you. Put your own safety first.

  1. If you are running on your own, tell someone that you are going out and stick to populated routes.

Try to mix up your route. Not only is this good for your training, but it is also a safer option as your routine becomes less predictable. Let someone know when you are going and when you expect to be back, as well as advise them of your safe return. This simple message could make a big difference. It gives you the reassurance that someone is waiting for you to get home safe.

Running in the winter also means colder and potentially wetter conditions than in summer. Making you have suitable equipment and warm-up and down properly is so important to avoid injury.”

If you are struggling with any injuries, aches or pains, the expert team at Bridge Health & Wellbeing are ready to help. They offer high quality physiotherapy, chiropractic treatment, sports massage, state-of-the-art rehabilitation gym facilities, Pilates, yoga and Qigong classes, all under one roof in Christchurch, Dorset.

Find out more or book your appointment or class online today at www.bridgehw.com.




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