The covid-19 pandemic has changed the way we look at life. Along with the much-needed awareness which is collectively exhibited towards the adverse effects of this virus, it has changed the way we look at something as routine as a trip to the local grocery store, a relaxed stroll within the community and the way we exercise.
Taking a walk or going for an outdoor run during the Covid-19 pandemic can be a boost for your emotional & physical health. But at the same time it is a little tricky to step out when you are supposed to stay indoors. However, as things are getting relaxed and we are slowly crawling out of our comfort zones, we still have to follow a few protocols & precautionary measures to stay safe :
Here are some tips we can follow while walking outdoors during this pandemic:
This has been the buzz word ever since the pandemic began and is the only best way that we can protect ourselves and the others around us. Exercising regularly is important not only for physical fitness but also for mental fitness.
Activities like outdoor walks, cycling and exercises that can be done within the safety of the home are the options we can choose from. While walking, it is important to maintain a safe distance of 6 feet or more from the people around us and not be in groups. If you’re running solo, all by yourself & in an area where you’re not interacting or encountering other people, it’s healthy and safe.
Wearing a mask while being outside the home is important while also keeping in mind the need to ensure proper breathing while doing any kind of exercise.
Choosing the right mask
Although the medical-grade N-95 masks are said to be the most effective in containing the spread of the virus, not everyone needs to wear it. 2-layer cotton masks or the surgical masks made of polypropylene also do a reasonable job in blocking the droplets emitted during coughing, sneezing, talking or breathing.
It is important to keep in mind that wearing any mask is better than no mask at all.
Practising good hygiene
It is a good idea to carry a hand sanitizer while taking outdoor walks. Avoiding the usage of mobile phones or touching surfaces, sanitizing accessories such as walking cane or pet leashes when used are all important precautions to keep in mind.
While walking or doing any activity outdoors it is also important to carry our own water bottles so that we don’t have to share. Washing of hands before and after a walk outdoors is also a good way to keep the virus from spreading.
Choosing and handling workout wear
It is good to choose workout wear that can keep sweat away from the skin and dry quickly. This includes dry-fit and moisture-wicking clothes.
It is said that the Covid virus can live on clothing for up to 72 hours. For this reason, it is essential to have separate workout wear and change them immediately after a workout. Putting workout wear in the laundry immediately after use and sun-drying them properly before next use goes a long way in protection against germs.
Having footwear specifically for outdoor wear and ensuring that they are left at the door so that potential virus don’t make their way into our homes.
After workout activities
It is common practice to use areas such as park benches to do stretches after and before walking or any workout. Given the situation, it is wise to avoid coming into contact with these surfaces in public places and mark these activities to be done indoors.
When to avoid walks
While any form of regular exercise is good for our physical and mental health, it is important to understand cues from our body and our surroundings before going out on that walk. Lacing up the shoes and heading out for some fresh air may seem to be therapeutic even when we feel under the weather, but during this pandemic, it is very imperative that we steer clear of potential sickness and germs and keep our immune system strong. By doing this, we can avoid trips to the clinic or hospital as well.
People suffering from seasonal allergies should make sure that they do not venture out when the air outside is loaded with allergens.
Be it walking or any other outdoor activity, if we exercise caution and keep the above tips in mind, we can ensure our safety as well the safety of others around us.