Experts say that social distancing doesn't mean have to mean being cooped up inside all day.Whether you're aching to run or simply want to walk around the neighbourhood, getting outside is still likely to do you more good than harm, even during the COVID-19 outbreak. By following these guidelines, you'll stave off both cabin fever and coronavirus.
Go ahead and venture outside.
Yes, it's still perfectly safe to step outside and get moving in most places, provided that you're healthy and aren't part of a high-risk group, (such recently recovering from a major illness). In fact, physical activity as being recommended as part of a healthy strategy to staying well.
Physical activity is also proven to boost the immune system. One 2018 meta-analysis found that moderate exercise can "enhance immune defense activity and metabolic health," making you healthier overall.
So until we face a complete lock down at home order, get outside and savour the sunshine and fresh air while you exercise.
Keep 1.5 metres away from others.
Going outside isn't a free-for-all, though—the government warns you should maintain at least 1.5 metres distance between you and others. The virus is thought to spread mainly from person-to-person so the best way to prevent COVID-19 from spreading is to "put distance between yourself and other people.
So if you go outside, keeping your distance is a great first line of defense. Choose areas that you know won't be too heavily populated, including parks, trails and bush tracks, and even empty streets. Seeing other people isn't a bad thing; just maintain at least a 1.5 metre radius and keep walking or running like normal.
Skip the mask.
Healthy exercise requires plenty of access to oxygen, and wearing a surgical mask makes it much harder to breathe. Even normal activities can make this hot and uncomfortable, Now imagine trying to breathe through one while hiking up a hill—seems horrible, right?
Evidence shows that masks are not a perfect line of defense, anyway—and they might even make you more susceptible to infection thanks to a false sense of security. For now, leave the mask behind and enjoy the fresh air instead.
Use best disease prevention practices.
The best way to prevent coronavirus after venturing outside is still to obey tried-and-true public health measures. "Wash your hands. Avoid touching your face. Disinfect frequently used items and surfaces as much as possible."
Although you've probably heard that advice plenty of times, it still bears repeating, especially after leaving the home. With the right precautions, exercising outside is one of the best ways to feel better during a stressful time. We could all use a little relief right about now.