Is it still safe to run even during a pandemic? Yes—and running alone is still the best way to minimise your risk. Go out for a run, cycle or walk, enjoy the great outdoors, and try scheduling your outing for when the streets or trail will be less crowded.
Getting at least a half hour of moderate to brisk activity can help your immune system keep any potential illnesses at bay. Be sure you know what’s going on in your local area and if there are any government restrictions or mandatory self-isolation orders. And, if you’re sick or at-risk of spreading the virus, you shouldn’t go out as you could spread it to those who are high risk, such as the elderly or vulnerable.
Here are our recommendations for running while the threat of Covid remains a possibility:
- While face coverings are required to enter many shops and businesses, you can in most cases exercise without one, assuming you are careful to keep 2 metres from all other runners or pedestrians.
- If you think it will be unavoidable and you’ll be closer than 2 metres to anyone during your run, it may be wise to keep a buff or bandana around your neck so you can quickly slide it up over your nose and mouth when you pass by anyone.
- If you have to self-isolate for any period, it’s of course not advisable to exercise outside. Instead, use a treadmill at home if you have one, workout with weights, a pilates ball, or failing that, follow a HIIT exercise video on your laptop or TV at home.
- Remember to wash your hands thoroughly after you return from your training runs, especially if you’ve had to open any gates, fence posts or road crossing light buttons.
- If you’re feeling unwell, don’t exercise—rest. Sick people wrongly think they can “exercise the virus out of the system” or “sweat it out”. That’s a myth. It’s actually the opposite and you should rest to let your body recover.
- Remember, the precautions you take are not just to protect yourself, but also the vulnerable population in the community you live and exercise in.
- If you’re just embarking on a new fitness hobby, make sure to ease into it and don’t exceed what you know your body can handle. The last thing your local hospital needs during a pandemic is extra patients with breathing difficulties visiting the local emergency department.
- If you’ll be running where the path will be shared with pedestrians, children and dog walkers etc, it’s good etiquette to move off the path while you pass by them. If the verges of the path will be uneven or muddy, you may want to think about running in trail shoes to help.
- If you’re overtaking someone who is facing the same direction as you, it’s always nice to give them a friendly warning which side you’re approaching on, so they can move if they want to keep a comfortable distance.
- It may go without saying, but during a time of heightened awareness about viruses, it’s best to avoid spitting during your outdoor workout, even if no one’s around.
- Bring a water bottle if you think you’ll need to rehydrate during your run, rather than using public drinking fountains, which mostly still require touching to operate.
- If you haven’t done so recently, break out your local trail map and discover some new routes further away from the populated areas to make it easier to keep social distance.
It may seem like a lot to keep in mind, but for many, these precautions are becoming the new norm. And here at Champ Virtual Events, we want you all to “stay safe”.