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How Can You Run Responsibly Amid COVID-19?

The COVID-19 outbreak has caused a quasi world-wide lockdown, as social distancing is the need of the hour. More people are working from home while practising isolation to curb further spread of the deadly virus.

With gyms closed (rightfully so) at the moment, how can fitness enthusiasts maintain their regimes? How can we be as responsible as possible during this chaos, while making sure that we don’t jeopardize the health and well-being of those around us?

It is important for all age groups to stay active, and the current situation has forced most people to make-do with a sedentary lifestyle. Can we tweak our daily routines a bit in order to squeeze in a short run without risking getting infected and infecting others? Let’s weigh the situation.

Current public health guidelines recommend runners to stay at least 6 feet (2 meters) apart from one another. In order to avoid coming in contact with others altogether, you can run on the terrace or your backyard as a compromise.

While this is not as invigorating as running in the park or on a trail, it will ensure the wellbeing of those around you. All you have to do is put on your sports shoes, and try to get your workout done in areas that are fairly private and isolated.

Don’t even think about group runs, especially when under lockdown – while it is understandable that frequent runners would want to savour what they do best, it is better to be safe than sorry.

Runners in parts of the world wherein full-fledged lockdown haven’t been announced yet, can try and leave home for a short walk, while avoiding contact with strangers or loved ones while doing so.

However, most countries do not have this luxury, as millions of people are unable to venture out of their homes due to the situation.

If running becomes difficult, one can practice stretches, pull-ups, sit-ups, bicycle pilates, and so on. Wearing lightweight running shoes and fast jogging on the sport or indulging in a skipping session can also be deemed as beneficial as a 5-minute run.

Here are some other strategies you can adopt if you wish to run responsibly:

Use the Strava Cold Map

Strava’s heat map function displays the typical locations wherein runners run. Based on the shade of red displayed on the map, one can determine the hotspots where runners congregate and avoid those areas completely.

Get your miles in semi-isolated roads, parks, or trails – however, at the present scenario, we advise that you avoid venturing out if possible. Alternatively, you could head to a field (which is comparatively empty) and practice your runs if your well being depends on it.

In short, if we had to answer your question:

How can you run responsibly amid COVID-19?

We would say – avoid public areas as much as possible.

While we understand that not everyone has the luxury of having a backyard, or an in-house gym, or a terrace wide enough to pack in short bursts of running, try and incorporate as much exercise as you can within the premises of your home.

If running is absolutely impossible, switch to yoga instead. While it is not as adrenaline-driven as running, it is definitely as cathartic, as it allows one to relax in more ways than one.

Right now, the priority is to be as responsible as possible, as a single misstep could trigger a chain of untoward events. Stay alert, and stay aware of what government and health bodies have to say,

Follow social distancing guidelines, practice good personal hygiene, and don’t panic, as it will only serve to aggravate the situation. Stay safe, runners – remember: while running can be paused or compromised, your wellbeing cannot be. Together, we shall overcome.

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