Walking in the dark

Some measures to protect yourself while exercising outdoors at dawn or dusk

527 views
Retirees exercising at the crack of dawn in Bukit Kiara - PATHMA NABAN

Exercise is any physical movement of the body which boosts fitness and contributes to overall health.

People give a lot of excuses for not exercising or going for regular workouts, but like it or not, exercise should be mandatory for everyone.

The way we keep fit may vary. Some prefer indoor exercises in gyms or playing indoor badminton and futsal. Others may opt for outdoor exercises like playing a field game, jogging, brisk walking, swimming and cycling.

Whether indoors or outdoors is immaterial as long as the body gets a proper workout. Exercise is key, as it prevents many illnesses. Conversely, the absence of a regular exercise routine may contribute to ill health.

As a routine, I start my daily morning exercises with a brisk walk around my neighbourhood for about an hour. If time permits, I do a second round in the evening as my target is eight kilometres a day.

On odd occasions, I walk at night or until recently, before the crack of dawn. I do it only when time and commitments do not permit me to walk in the mornings or evenings or if the humidity is too high in the evening.

Since my friend Peter Ray requested me to write on the precautionary measures which need to be taken while exercising at night, I would like to share my personal experience.

Here are some tips I observe especially when walking in the dark:

  • It is good to confine yourself to the vicinity of your neighbourhood when walking in the dark
  • Always wear reflective shoes if you are walking along the streets because your feet are the fastest moving parts and the reflective strips on your shoes will flash, thereby forewarning motorists
  • Ensure you wear a reflective T-shirt, preferably green. If possible, wear a reflective wristband
  • Wear comfortable sneakers. The soles must be able to grip well to the ground, especially at night and after a heavy downpour
  • Try as far as possible to walk with a partner or team up with a local walking group
  • Walk along well-lit streets and paths
  • Leave your headphones at home when walking at night or even during the day, as it is important to hear cars, motorcycles, bicycles, dogs and people in the vicinity. I notice that some young people these days like to listen to music while walking. I strongly discourage this practice
  • Beware of uneven paths and obstacles. It is harder to see uneven walkways , roots, rocks, potholes and trash in the dark. So carry a torchlight and scan the ground 20 feet ahead of you for obstacles
  • Always exercise caution when crossing the streets. Keep in mind that drivers do not expect pedestrians to be out walking at night
  • Look carefully on the ground for dogs’ and cats’ poo to avoid stepping on it
  • If you are uncertain of the weather, always carry an umbrella. Alternatively, tie a raincoat round your waist and use it if necessary. You might encounter a sudden downpour when you least expect it. It happened to me a few times, and I was completely drenched
  • Try not to carry any money when walking at night. If you need to buy some items at the sundry shop or mini-market on your way back, ensure you have only the exact amount
  • Observe physical distancing when walking
READ MORE:  Retirement - a transition into a different chapter of life

Anticipate possible unfortunate incidents when going out of the house every time, especially at night.  

Whenever possible, prior to starting your exercise, inform a family member or a neighbour or friend about your route. Don’t forget to carry your fully charged mobile phone in case an urgent situation arises or your family members, neighbours and friends need to contact you if an emergency crops up.

Who knows, meeting a friend along the way and spending some time engaging in conversation might delay you. If you have a phone, you could avoid unnecessary anxiety for others who might worry about your delay in returning home!

Thanks for dropping by! The views expressed in Aliran's media statements and the NGO statements we have endorsed reflect Aliran's official stand. Views and opinions expressed in other pieces published here do not necessarily reflect Aliran's official position.

Our voluntary writers work hard to keep these articles free for all to read. But we do need funds to support our struggle for Justice, Freedom and Solidarity. To maintain our editorial independence, we do not carry any advertisements; nor do we accept funding from dubious sources. If everyone reading this was to make a donation, our fundraising target for the year would be achieved within a week. So please consider making a donation to Persatuan Aliran Kesedaran Negara, CIMB Bank account number 8004240948.
Benedict Lopez was director of the Malaysian Investment Development Authority in Stockholm and economics counsellor at the Malaysian embassy there in 2010-2014. He covered all five Nordic countries in the course of his work. A pragmatic optimist and now an Aliran member, he believes Malaysia can provide its people with the same benefits and privileges found in the Nordic countries - not a far-fetched dream but one that he hopes will be realised in his lifetime
Subscribe
Notify of
guest
0 Comments
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments