As the coronavirus pandemic continues to spread havoc, fear and uncertainty amongst our lives, with running races being postponed and even canceled altogether how safe are we running outside and should we stop enjoying the great outdoors until the virus dies out?
The question that all runners are asking is – Is it safe to run outside?
And the answer is – yes.
In fact you’re actually safer running outside even with the coronavirus than you are inside, say on a treadmill in a gym.
And the reason is that when people cough and sneeze small droplets escape and land on surfaces and can be easily transmitted from person to person by touch.
Therefore running outside is far cleaner for you and the spread of disease is less likely.
What about running clubs or group runs?
Where running is still safe to do outside, we are however being advised to run with just the one run buddy or a very small group, but running solo is more advisable for the time being.
However, someone who has a cough or who feels ill probably won’t want to be running anyway – so if you still want to enjoy running with some buddies then just be aware of your personal space and spread out, the recommendation is to be 6 feet apart, so that your not touching hands or breathing in each other’s droplets and as always, wash your hands when the run is over.
Can I run outside when in quarantine?
Well, that depends on how big your garden is.
Keeping active with 30 – 60 minutes of exercise per day is not only good for your immune system but it’s also good for your mental health, being stuck indoors for 14 days can feel very isolated and lonely. If you are unable to leave your home a treadmill is a good alternative to the road and body training can be beneficial, anything that keeps you active, such as yoga and evening running up and down your stairs and doing jumping jacks.
Does running make your immune system weak?
Well yes and no – Where running is super good for us and makes us strong and healthy, but when we’re training for a marathon or even a half marathon running can actually make us more susceptible to picking up colds and cases of flu.
This is because when we train and or run hard we use up our stores of glycogen which suppresses our immunity.
So although there is no reason to keep getting out there and enjoying our running, it’s maybe worth going out for shorter and less intensive runs.
Can I catch coronavirus through sweat?
Although you can catch coronavirus through contact with others due to their droplets, sweat doesn’t carry these droplets, so no you can’t catch coronavirus from sweat.
Is it safe to go to a gym?
Although sweat doesn’t transmit and spread disease, droplets do, so if someone coughs or sneezes into their hand and then touches some equipment and you come and use that piece of equipment you can pick up the droplets. So the best way for you to protect yourself is to try and go to the gym when it’s quieter with fewer people. Take antibacterial wipes with you and wipe down all the equipment before you use it.
Keep at least 6 feet away from other gym-goers to avoid breathing in their droplets, and of course, keep washing them hands. But if you can avoid the gym and train from home then that is best.
So yes – keep running and enjoying the great outdoors but do so safely and remember to always wash your hands, where gloves if your run route has you pressing crossing buttons and avoid running in big groups where possible and avoid busy build-up areas.