Clocks nationwide fell back Sunday to standard time. Plus, daylight will be a shrinking commodity until December, before gradually reasserting itself.
So, unless you can do your outdoor workout at lunchtime, you'll probably be spending a chunk of time exercising in darkness. For runners, joggers, bikers, hikers and walkers (with or without dogs), it's time to take stock of your workout gear.
In particular, the clothing and lighting devices you'll use to see and, more importantly, be seen if you're out and about at night.
Safety is the new standard-time mantra.
What do you need? Lights (for your helmet, bike and wrists or hands), reflective clothing (think: glow in the dark) and an awareness of the rules of the road.
That's because nobody wants a run-in with a car, which is more likely as nature's dimmer switch takes over. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety reports that more than 122,000 runners, walkers and cyclists were hit by cars last year -- the majority during hours of darkness.
Some companies offer incentives for employees who commute by walking or cycling.
At Light & Motion Industries in Monterey, marketing director Jackie Petro says her company reimburses employees if they use an alternate form of transportation to work three days a week.
"They see it in their paychecks," she says.
With the days getting shorter, that means more folks leaving work -- probably around dusk -- on bikes or on foot.
"Obviously, this is reducing our carbon output and noise," Petro says. "And it's saving fuel costs and providing exercise for the commuter.
"But you absolutely need to have lights on your bike. As a cyclist, I need them to see where I'm going. I also want cars to see me."
And cyclists -- as well as walkers -- need to dress the part.
We checked out the reflective-clothing offerings at Fleet Feet in midtown Sacramento and found tops and plenty of accessories to keep you in everyone's sight.
Assistant manager Tom Griffen pointed out the Brooks Nightlife collection, which includes vests, long-sleeve shirts, jackets -- even armbands for men and women. All are in a fluorescent yellow trimmed in black.
"Nobody can miss you wearing any of these items," Griffen says, laughing. "You'll stand out like a sore thumb."
A runner himself, Griffen admits that he's had his share of near-misses. He demonstrates that even his running shoes have strips of reflective material.
"You have to think like you're working nighttime construction. The reflective clothing should be that bright, because drivers are looking ahead and not as often to the side," he says.
If you're a runner and you layer your workout attire, a reflective vest is a lightweight alternative that goes over everything.
The Brooks line is priced from $28 for reflective gloves up to $80 for a vest. Jackets are $75, shirts $44.
With proper care, Griffen says, most reflective clothing will outlast its owner.
"However, because it's synthetic, you want to be careful with how you care for it. We recommend something called Win detergent," Griffen says. "It won't damage the fibers, and it keeps the clothing from holding on to bacteria.
"Also, you want to hang-dry your reflective gear -- never put it in the dryer."
(Win is sold online at www.windetergent.com. One bottle can do up to 14 loads.)
In addition to reflective clothing, you can light the way with gadgets for your helmet and bike.
Night-Gear Inc., based in Stuart, Fla., specializes in illuminating products for "people who work or play in low-light environments."
It was started as an online business two years ago by Mark Wilson, who got caught sailing in bad weather and resorted to putting a flashlight in his pocket to make himself "glow."
"That enabled me to keep my hands free," he says.
A cyclist, too, Wilson uses his bike as a test platform for lights of all kinds.
He says that ideally, a bicycle should be equipped with a flashing white light on the front and a red taillight.
"Cyclists also can zip through intersections, so it's crucial to have a helmet-mounted light as well," Wilson says. "That way, you can turn your head to make eye contact with a driver."
Like reflective clothing, lights come in a range of prices. Simple headlamps start at $15, though some cyclists might spend as much as $500 for a set of lights.
Walkers need to stand out in the night, too. Reflective clothing is an option, and you certainly can carry a flashlight. There are reflective ankle bracelets and armbands.
If you're a dog walker, you want to keep one hand free, so consider clip-on lights in such colors as red, blue and green. Just attach one to a waistband, belt, sleeve or the back of a jacket or hat.
As for Fido, Night-Gear and other companies such as Glow Dog offer reflective dog collars, leashes, jackets and bandanas.