In the Northern Hemisphere, each day gets shorter until about December 21. And the end of Daylight Saving Time in late October or early November means it is darker in the evening all of the sudden. (Yuck!)
You could try walking in the morning, if you don't already. It's just a temporary fix though since it gets progressively darker in the mornings, too. If you have the right employer (or work at home, or are retired...), you could walk over your lunch hour. However, depending on how hard you walk, that might require access to a locker room or showers.
If you are like me, the only time of day available to seriously walk is the evening. (It is hard enough already for me to wake up in the morning -- I cannot get up any earlier!) And that means we need to be extra careful.
First, be careful where you walk. If I am alone, I will not venture into the city parks at night. There are too many dark secluded spots. Lucky for me, my neighborhood is safe and I'm comfortable walking there alone at any time.
Wear light-colored clothing if possible. My winter coat is dark purple, and all of my long pants are black, but I try to wear a white hat when I can. Regardless, in the dark, the purple might as well be black.
|Reflective vests can be cute!|
Wear a light. I wear a headlamp. Most people in our neighborhood have lights in front of their houses, so the sidewalks are somewhat lit, but a headlamp does help me see uneven spots. But the real reason I wear a light is so that vehicles will see me when I cross the street. If you do not have access to sidewalks, a flashing red or yellow light on your back will also make you much more visible to vehicles! Don't forget to walk facing traffic if possible! (Find headlamps here: http://www.consumersearch.com/headlamps and headlamps and reflective gear here: http://walking.about.com/od/lights/Lights_and_Reflective_Gear.htm.)
|One of my headlamps |
clips to my hat.
Tell someone where you are going and when you will be back. If you live with other people, this is not a problem. Living alone makes it a little more difficult. If you know your neighbors well enough, let one of them know what your plans are, then check back in when you return home. Otherwise, I have been known to call friends to let them know where I'm walking, and call again when I'm home. Anyone who supports your healthy lifestyle should be willing to do this for you!
Carry a cell phone. I know, I hate carrying the extra weight, too. Still, it is a minor inconvenience to be a little bit safer.
Darkness, rain, snow and wind are not good reasons to let your healthy lifestyle slide. With a little bit of planning and common sense, you should be able to walk outside year-round!
Let me know if any of you have any additional suggestions.