Staying Fit Amid The Coronavirus: Should You Wear a Mask While Running?
The coronavirus pandemic has no doubt disrupted the daily lives of people all around the world. Some are fortunate enough to keep a sense of normalcy in their lifestyle because they still have the option to run outside.
However, with the need to practice social distancing, it is recommended to run solo and in areas where you can run alone or have at least 6 feet between you and the nearest person. This is to reduce the risk of spreading the virus. If you are not feeling that good, you might as well stay at home.
According to the CDC guidelines, it is recommended to wear cloth face covering while out in public, where social distancing actions prove hard to maintain. This practice, along with other preventive measures, will help flatten the curve.
Prior to this guideline, a couple of state governments have suggested wearing these cloth face masks when going outside their homes while doing some essential activities. This is to prevent the asymptomatic or those who are still not exhibiting symptoms, from spreading the highly-contagious virus. Some of these states include California and Pennsylvania. While some cities like Boston suggested wearing these face masks every time you go outside.
What Does It Mean For Runners?
For athletes and everyone in general, this communicates the seriousness of the situation in this public health crisis. During a time like this, an individual should think his actions through and consider the possible consequences it can do to the entire community, according to associate professor of biology and the Center for Infectious Disease Dynamics at Penn State researcher Dr. Matt Ferrari.
Assistant professor Dr. Brian Labus of the University of Nevada Las Vegas’ School of Public Health says that the face masks are there not for the purpose of protecting you, but protecting other people from you. With that goal in mind, it would be best to go out alone or avoid other people.
When you are out running and you encounter a crowded area, avoid it as best as you can even though it is your usual trail or route. Just to be safe, look for a different place to go or adjust your schedule so you won’t have to compete with other people for that trail.
Pennsylvania, for their part, has set up guidelines for the masks that should be worn. It says that one should not wear a mask that is damp or is wet from mucus or spit. In an April 3 press con, Pennsylvania’s secretary of health Dr. Rachel Levine suggested that these cloth face coverings may not be necessary if you’ll only stay in a place where you will be isolated from other people.
North Carolina Research Campus’ director of the Human Performance Lab, Dr. David Nieman, says that wearing a Buff gaiter or other face coverings that are moisture-wicking would help prevent droplets from heavy breathing, sneezing, and coughing.
CDC guidelines also suggest wearing cloth face masks rather than surgical masks or N-95 as the latter two should be allocated to the healthcare professionals. It can also be made using household items and clothes.
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