How To Stay Safe While Running Outside


Kylie Ha, Staff Writer

The annual National Walking Day, which fell on Apr. 1, encourages people of all ages to step outside and go for a walk. In the midst of the rising number of confirmed cases and health officials urging people to stay in their homes, here are the best practices to ensure that you practice social distancing while walking or running. 

The most effective method to keep yourself and others safe is to avoid crowded areas. If you happen to arrive at your usual route and see multiple people, find a different place to go for the safety of everyone. If everywhere you go seems somewhat crowded, try timing your run early in the morning or later in the afternoon so the trails will be less busy. 

David Nieman, a health professor at Appalachian State University, stated, “The virus is highly contagious and transmissible, and it appears we cannot be too careful.”

Secondly, avoid running or going outside in groups. So far, the CDC recommends any outside activity to maintain your health be done alone. Make sure that you’re aware of what’s going on in your area and if there are any restrictions or mandatory self-quarantines. If you’re sick or at risk of spreading the virus, stay at home—the bigger concern is spreading it to those who are high at risk, such as the elderly or immunocompromised. 

Wear cloth face coverings in public settings where other social distancing measures are difficult to maintain. State governments in California and Pennsylvania recommend that everyone wears cloth face coverings when they go out in the public for essential activities in order to help prevent those that are asymptomatic from spreading the disease. However, these masks or coverings aren’t necessary when out for a solo exercise because you won’t encounter anyone else. 

Lastly, keep an appropriate distance wherever you go. The CDC recommends staying at least six feet apart from others when doing any activity outside, whether it be going to the market for food or to exercise. Although the shelter-in-place still stands, it still allows for people to go outside and engage in outdoor activity. 

Although they are highly essential to staying safe, these practices are not a substitute for maintaining good hygiene and practicing social distancing. Make sure to remain at home if feeling ill, look for updates near your districts, and check your local government recommendations for guidance. 


Photo Courtesy of NBCNEWS.COM