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How to Run Outside During Coronavirus Quarantine

How to Run Outside During Coronavirus Quarantine

What the CDC recommends in regards to outdoor running

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With shelter-in-place and social distancing orders in effect, you might wonder how safe it is to continue outdoor exercises. Running, in particular, calls for going further than your backyard, where it’s possible to do strength training or yoga. To ensure that you meet the guidelines for social distancing in public settings, follow the steps below.

Continue to social distance

Continue to social distance

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Running is a social sport when it’s happening off the treadmill. Even if you’re running in public alone, there’s usually some camaraderie among neighborhood runners. While it’s OK to wave or say hi, in order to stop the spread of germs, you should continue to maintain your distance during this time.

Consider doubling your 6-foot distance from others

Consider doubling your 6-foot distance from others

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Your breathing becomes heavy and fast when you’re running. Add that to the fact that you’re outdoors in the wind, and that’s a recipe for an increase in respiratory droplets spreading more quickly. Coronavirus can spread through those droplets, according to the World Health Organization. If someone coughs or sneezes while running 6 feet ahead of you, the droplets could still reach you. Try staying 10 to 12 feet away from other outdoor runners or walkers.

Stay away from trails that appear crowded

Stay away from trails that appear crowded

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As temperatures warm, more people are going to be outdoors making the most of the weather, which means trails and recreational areas might get more crowded. Some parks and trails are closed, but not all are. To follow through with guidelines set forth by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, choose trails that are less inhabited and use social distancing at all times.

It’s best to run solo

It’s best to run solo

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Group runs should be avoided and if you have to run with a partner, it’s better to run with someone you share air with daily, like a spouse or a roommate, rather than a friend or neighbor in a different household. Instead of catching up on a run, stay in touch with loved ones via video calls or social media.

Don’t run side by side with a running partner

Don’t run side by side with a running partner

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If you are going to be running with someone you live with, just because you breathe the same air doesn’t mean you can run side by side. Whether you’re running for fun or training for a marathon, your running buddy can still support you from 6 feet away.

Wear a face mask that wicks away sweat

Wear a face mask that wicks away sweat

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You may know how to wear a face mask properly, but outdoor running could make things a bit tricky. If you’re wearing a single-use mask, throw it out afterward. Surgical masks that become damp or wet are no longer effective. If you’re using a homemade mask, try using one that is made from a material that will wick away sweat, or use a neck gaiter, which also covers your nose and mouth tightly.

Slow your pace

Slow your pace

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Because your face is covered, you might notice that it is more difficult to breathe. Slow your pace and adjust to running under these new conditions. If you find it hard to do so, try breaking up your workout schedule. Incorporate some at-home workouts rather than running every day.

Don’t run in public if you are feeling sick

Don’t run in public if you are feeling sick

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Running is a great way to stay active and keep your immune system strong, but if you are sick or were recently exposed to COVID-19, the CDC advises to stay away from parks and recreational areas. If you are infected but not showing symptoms, the American College of Sports Medicine says that continuing moderately intense workouts in quarantine is OK, but that you should stop if you develop symptoms such as fever, shortness of breath or a cough.

Cover your mouth to cough or sneeze

Cover your mouth to cough or sneeze

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If you aren’t sick but still feel the urge to cough or sneeze, use a tissue if you have one in your pocket or use your sleeve near your elbow. Avoid using your hands to cough or catch a sneeze. If you did use your sleeve, wash your clothes when you return home. Putting your athletic clothing in the wash is just one way to keep a healthy home and kill the germs.

Try not to touch surfaces such as benches or crosswalk buttons

Try not to touch surfaces such as benches or crosswalk buttons

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When you’re doing a virtual workout class at home, you can feel comfortable using your own equipment so long as you sanitize it regularly. When you’re out on a run and need to stop and stretch, though, avoid touching surfaces such as benches, crosswalk buttons or even park equipment.

Bring your own water bottle to avoid fountains

Bring your own water bottle to avoid fountains

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Drinking an adequate amount of water is crucial for your health. Similar to not touching public equipment or rest areas, it’s also a smart idea to bring your own water bottle or wait until you get home to use your own tap water.

Don’t run at peak times

Don’t run at peak times

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Just like you’d avoid going to the grocery store at peak times, try avoiding trails or parks during busy hours. If you notice the neighborhood is busy during lunchtime or after 5 p.m. when many people are shutting their work laptops for the day, try rearranging your runs for early morning or later at night.

Incorporate at-home strength training

Incorporate at-home strength training

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Low-impact workouts that still break a sweat are a great way to break up your workout schedule while helping you balance cardio with strength training. If trails or parks seem crowded on the weekends, use those days to work out at home instead.

Don’t use a rest as time to mingle with friends

Don’t use a rest as time to mingle with friends

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If your normal running route consists of a rest stop at the park or stopping at a friend’s house in the neighborhood, stay at least 6 feet away and avoid socializing in large groups. When talking, make sure your mask covers your nose and mouth.

Be open to adapting your run

Be open to adapting your run

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Many runners have a few routes that become routine, and they like sticking to those familiar roads and paths. Be aware of your surroundings and be willing to take a left turn instead of a right if you see crowds up ahead, or be prepared to cross the street if you see someone approaching and need space to avoid them. Whether you’re running to stay fit or to lose weight, here are 50 exercises to keep you moving.

 

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