HomeHealth & WellnessRethinking Running: Pandemic Precautions

Rethinking Running: Pandemic Precautions

The COVID-19 outbreak has radically changed the way we live our lives. While some US states and other parts of the world are formulating exit strategies and preparing to get the gears of commerce grinding back to life again, it’s going to be a long time until we’re ready to return to our previous way of life. Indeed, we may all be wondering which parts of our old lives are worth keeping, and which aren’t. 

Image by Fotorech via Pixabay

By and large we’re spending more time indoors and going outside sparingly. But this needn’t keep you from your fitness goals. Especially if you only ever feel alive when you go out running. There’s no need to let the pandemic curb your passion for running, but you do need to take appropriate precautions. Here are some sensible measures to take before, after and during your run…

Rethink your route

If your route used to take you through heavily built up areas such as residential or commercial areas, you may want to rethink it. The greener the better. Not only are greener spaces more sparsely peopled, the access to trees and plants will be a boon for your mental health. Nonetheless, you’ll still need to be aware of others. Which brings us to…

Expand your awareness

While running you may usually fall “in the zone” and lose track of everything except your destination. However, you’ll need to be more aware from now on, and get into the habit of looking round for pedestrians and other runners, as well as cyclists who can emerge behind you from out of nowhere. 

Wearing a mask while running may create more problems than it solves as we may touch our faces unnecessarily when donning or removing it. So long as you maintain a distance of at least 6 feet from others at all times, your risk factor is severely mitigated. 

Be road smart

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Be especially cautious when crossing the road. If you’re wearing headphones, turn your music down and listen out for roaring engines. At a time when there are over 35,000 traffic accident fatalities a year, it pays to be cautious. Don’t mistake a quiet road for an empty road. Many less than responsible drivers see a clear road as an invitation for speeding and recklessness. 

Wash your hands before and after

The coronavirus is most commonly transmitted by our hands. We touch infected surfaces and then touch our faces, and the virus gets into our bodies through our eyes and mouths. So make sure your hands are clean at all times. Wash them before heading out and avoid touching hand rails, gates or anything else while out. Keep a bottle of hand sanitizer with you if you need extra reassurance. 

If you go out for a long run, you are particularly vulnerable when you return home. The physical exertion of a long run places your immune system under considerable stress. As such, it’s a good idea to make sure you wash your hands as a matter of urgency when you return home and avoid touching your face (however sweaty) until your hands are clean.  

With the appropriate safeguards in place, there’s no reason why you can’t be at the top of your running game!


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