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How to Work Out When It's Dark Out

People running in the dark while it's raining
Ahh… the fall. Time for cooler weather, warm fires and cozy sweaters. 

Fall also means shorter days, and unless you’ve got a lunchtime workout routine, you’re probably working out in the dark before or after your work schedule. 

Working out in the dark, pre-dawn or post-sunset hours can be challenging. Naturally, your body wants to stay – or get ready for sleep. But we know that exercise is essential and since you’ve got a workout goal in mind, taking off for shorter days just isn’t in your weight-loss plan!

Here are some tips to get moving when it seems like the world is sleeping. 

Prepare Your Wear

Working out when your body might not want to is difficult to overcome, but with the proper planning, you can do it. 

If you are an early-morning exerciser, consider wearing your workout clothing to bed so all you need to do is put on your sneakers and head out of the door for a walk or jog. Or, just lay all your clothing out so it’s easier for you to get ready without thinking too much about what you’re preparing to do. 

If you work out after your workday, bring your clothing with you – or even change at work so you are already in your workout gear. When you get home, or if you go to the gym, you’ll have no excuse. 

Protect Yourself

Darker hours mean it’s harder to see and be seen on the roads. Invest in some good reflective gear such as a reflective vest, stickers, pant or shirts so drivers can see you clearly in the dark. 

If you are a runner or walker, the dark hours can hide obstacles on your route. A crack in the sidewalk, uneven pavement or tree root can be a real danger to your ankles and bones! Try wearing a headlamp to illuminate your path, or carry a flashlight to help light the way. 

Stay Hydrated

If you are working out in the morning, consider what you are eating and drinking the night before as fuel for your workout. Not enough water before bed can lead to cramps while you work out. Also, make sure you are getting the proper nutrition at your meals to fuel up. 

If you work out at night, make sure you have healthy snacks throughout the day that provide protein and complex carbohydrates to take you through your work out and last until you get a chance to eat again. Avoid high sugar sports drinks, which can lead to dumping syndrome and weight gain in post bariatric surgery patients. 

Plan to Get Your Groove On

Whether you wake up and “go go” or work out after your office hours, keep your playlist fun and bumping with jams to get you moving. Here is a list of workout songs to get you moving.

Penn Can Help You Lose Weight

Are you ready to commit to a healthier life?

Learn if bariatric surgery is right for you by attending a free information session about the Penn Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery Program. 

Learn more about weight-loss surgery at Penn during this free session and meet physicians and team members from the Penn Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery Program

Register for this free event here.

About this Blog

Learn about bariatric surgery and get the support you need to continue on your weight-loss journey. We offer workouts, recipes and tips from Bariatric Surgery program team members, and stories from patients like you.

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