With so many worried about the COVID-19 (Coronavirus) pandemic and how to take adequate precautions towards staying safe and healthy, it was only a matter of time before our experts at Valley Orthopaedic began to receive questions about exercising. Before the pandemic, working out was something a majority of us did not think twice about. From warming up at a crowded track to running past a friendly neighbor, there is now a new normal we have to take into consideration. Although many big runner’s events have been canceled, if you’re craving that runner’s high, you can still enjoy getting your endorphin fix with your favorite exercise.
If you are deciding to run amid Coronavirus, it is important to ensure you are running safely. While gyms may now be open and limiting the number of members that enter their doors, you may simply not feel comfortable going back quite yet. Running is a great way to stay physically active and improve immune system function. To help you stay safe, Valley Orthopaedic Sports Medicine Specialists have put together some helpful tips you can follow.
Plan a Route That Keeps You Away from Others
First, begin by planning a route that will keep you away from large amounts of people. The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) recommends a minimum of six feet between others, although greater distances are encouraged for running safely. The reason is when you are breathing hard, respiratory droplets can easily come out of your mouth and nose. So, plan a route that will keep you as far as possible from other people, and take it solo.
Know When to Wear a Mask
Should I be running with a mask? This is one of the most common questions about running amid Coronavirus. Even if you believe you will not be coming in contact with other individuals, the CDC highly recommends wearing a face covering at all times in public settings. The use of simple cloth face masks not only prevents yourself from receiving the virus, but also from you transmitting it. With a virus as tricky as Coronavirus, it is possible you could be asymptomatic, and you would never know.
Choose the Right Face Covering
If you do need to wear a face covering, be sure you choose the right one. You need plenty of oxygen when you are running, so you need to ensure you can breathe adequately with your mask on. Test a mask before you run by breathing faster and harder through it. If you feel lightheaded, it is an indicator you are not receiving enough oxygen.
Beware of Touching Objects Around You
Even though outdoor objects bathe in the sun, wind, and rain, that does not mean they are safe to touch. Public objects could be contaminated if someone recently coughed on, sneezed on, or touched them. Avoid touching public objects, keep your hands off your face, and clean hands thoroughly when you are back from your run.
Skip the Intense Runs for Now
While exercising offers the ability to improve immune system function, long, intensive runs like half marathons can temporarily reduce immune function. For now, skip the extreme runs until we’re on the other side of the pandemic. Focus more on your health than getting in those intense workouts.
At Valley Orthopaedic we offer advanced orthopedic and sports medicine services, and we’re here to get through COVID-19 together. Contact our practice to learn more!