Experts are weighing in on the highly-debated question of whether or not it is a good idea or even safe to exercise outside during the COVID-19 outbreak. Medical professionals are, in fact, encouraging walking and running to exercise outdoors as long as proper social distancing is maintained, according to Today.
Just because gyms are closed across the nation, it does not mean that people won’t be able to keep up with their health and fitness by walking or running outdoors. The key is to find a location for exercise that is not highly populated so that the chance of running into other people is less likely.
Dr. Saad Omer, the director of the Yale Institute for Global Health who is also a professor of infectious diseases at the Yale School of Medicine, emphasized that a six-foot distance between oneself and another person is still necessary in order to avoid possible airborne germs.
“As long as you’re going to a non-crowded place… at this point, I would encourage people to do that. Social distancing doesn’t mean nature distancing. Go out, as long as you have distance. As long as you are keeping at least a six-foot distance from the next person, running outside is particularly reasonable,” he said.
Crystal Watson, a senior scholar at the Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security, explained that getting fresh air outside and proper exercise is good not only for one’s physical well being but for their mental well being as well.
“I think it’s really important to be able to get our exercise in, even if we can’t go to the gym. It’s a wonderful way to keep up mental and physical health,” she said.
Outdoor trails and parks are still great places to take runs as long as the space has not been legally closed and distance is still kept when passing another person. In fact, it is a lot less likely that one would get sick outside just running around than they would in a gym where there is closer contact with others and surfaces and equipment are getting touched by many different people.
“Outdoors, when you’re jogging and moving around, that’s a different thing. You’re not touching things,” Dr. Omer noted.
Other people are finding new and creative ways to exercise by watching home workout videos that are available on social media platforms for free. Fitness influencer Kayla Itsines is one of many social media stars challenging their followers to at-home workouts, as The Inquisitr previously reported.