It is very important to stay healthy, especially during the pandemic. In order to strengthen our immune system, we need to keep our bodies moving. Daily activity and oxygen is the key to enhancing our wellbeing. We recommend that you take up a solo outdoor activity and maintain social distancing. One of the best options is running. Since many gyms are closed and summer is here, a quick run in your neighborhood or a secluded area is an excellent way to maintain your fitness. However, you need to take some precautions to avoid the spread of the virus.
Why run outdoors?
Running may not be everyone’s go-to exercise, but in these circumstances, it is the best option to keep moving. You don’t need teammates or other people. You don’t use any equipment. And you get fresh air. Running is good for both your physical health and psychological wellbeing. Here are some benefits of running outdoors:
- Blood flow and white blood cell circulation increases, strengthening your immune response.
- It reduces stress by lowering cortisol hormones in your body.
- You’ll get vitamin D by running outdoors.
- Running outside will clear your mind.
- It will strengthen your cardiovascular and lung health.
- It can help you to reach your healthy body weight.
Is it safe?
If you are running alone in an isolated area, it is perfectly safe to run outside. When you are alone, you don’t share any objects with other people. This will limit the spread of the virus and keep you isolated. By avoiding other people, you’ll avoid the droplets that disperse when someone sneezes or coughs. You will also strengthen your immune system by getting 30 minutes of daily activity. Just keep in mind that you should stay home and rest if you are not feeling well.
Here are some simple tips you can follow for running safely:
- Exercise outside during non-peak times.
- If you have the chance, choose secluded running routes such as trails or forest paths instead of a crowded park or sidewalk. This will help you maintain social distancing.
- Always have your mask with you and don’t take it off unless you are running in an isolated area.
- Don’t touch any public-use equipment.
- Be sure to leave plenty of space between you and the person running ahead of you so you won’t come into contact with any droplets they left behind.
- Pay attention to local information and warnings.
- Start slowly if you are new to running to avoid injuries.
Do you need to wear a mask?
It is necessary to wear a mask if you are running in public or in a non-isolated area. However, if you are running alone in a forest or on a trail, it is not necessary. Ten to twelve feet of distance from other people will allow you to run safely. You should keep a longer distance than the usual advised social distancing length because runners breathe heavier, and this breath cloud may contain virus particles. Be sure to keep your mask with you in all situations. There are several things to keep in mind while using a mask:
- Carry a double-layered mask with you even if you are running in a secluded place and use it in the presence of people.
- Don’t use a mask that prevents you from breathing.
- Avoid touching your face and mask as much as possible.
- The purpose of the mask is to protect other people.
- Using a mask properly can sometimes be difficult. Check WHO’s website for guidance.
What is the effect on overall health?
Exercising has many physical benefits, such as enhancing lung and heart health. In addition, being active will keep you fit and help strengthen your immune system. Another positive aspect of running is that it is an effective way to maintain your psychological health. Daily activity is an excellent way to start your day and stay motivated. Running daily will also increase the secretion of endorphins, which will reduce the chances of anxiety or depression, helping you feel happier and more positive.
What do I do when I get home?
One of the most important times is when you get back home after your run. You want to avoid bringing the virus into your home. Here are some tips to return home safely:
- Take your shoes off and leave them at the door.
- Wash your face and hands at least for 20 seconds.
- Disinfect your phone with wipes containing at least 70% alcohol.
- Change your clothes. We also advise you to wash your hands again after touching your clothes.
- Take a shower.
Running outside during this time may take a little more planning, but it can be done. If you follow these instructions, it is both safe and healthy to run outdoors. We recommend that you run according to your physical condition and avoid overexertion, but you will still get many benefits from your run. The fresh air will help improve your psychological health, and the exercise can help you reach your healthy weight. In addition, you will strengthen your immune system as well as boost your lung and cardiovascular health. So what are you waiting for? Let’s go for a run!