With the recent closure of gyms across the state, staying active has become a challenge for many. One way to remain physically active is to jog or run around your neighborhood, while practicing social distancing. Running outdoors is a great way to stay in shape and relieve stress. However, it is important to take precautions to remain safe when running.
Here are a few things to keep in mind:
- Let someone know when and where you are planning to run. That way, if you are gone longer than expected, someone will know to go looking for you.
- Don’t wear earbuds or headphones. Listening to music or a podcast while you run makes it harder to hear approaching cars, animals, or people. It can also serve as a distraction to you, which makes it easier to step into a hole and roll your ankle or bump into something.
- When sharing the road with cars, be defensive, not aggressive. Don’t assume that drivers can see you or are paying attention to the road. When approaching stop signs at the same time as a car, stop and wait for the driver to wave you on. When crossing an intersection, make sure that all cars are stopped before running out into the crosswalk, even when you have the signal to cross.
- If there is no sidewalk, run FACING traffic. Running on the left side of the road makes it easier for you to see oncoming traffic and react accordingly.
- Make yourself easily visible. Wear bright colors or a vest with reflective strips to help drivers see you earlier.
- If possible, take your ID, cell phone, and some cash with you in case of an emergency.
- Try to avoid running alone at night. If you do decide to run at night, take someone with you. If this is not an option and you must run when it is dark out, be sure to tell someone where you are going and when you will be back. You can also carry a small can of pepper spray with you (make sure you have practiced using it beforehand).
- Trust your gut. If a certain area or person makes you feel uncomfortable, divert your route as soon as possible. Your intuition is usually right, and you can never be too careful.
As we all know, the COVID-19 (Coronavirus) outbreak has posed many challenges to our physical, mental, emotional, and financial health over the past few weeks. However, running can be a great outlet during this stressful time.
Regular exercise is not only important for your physical health but can also serve as a great way to boost your mood and relieve stress and anxiety. Whether you are a seasoned runner or are just trying to stay active during the Coronavirus outbreak, it is important to keep the tips above in mind to stay safe!