Running in the New Normal
Running is an easy, affordable and convenient way to get regular exercise. But how can you do it while following safety protocols?
Benefits of running
Regular exercise has many benefits, both mentally and physically. It can ease the stress, help to manage weight and prevent obesity, provide relief from physical pains, boost the body’s immune system, help with mental awareness and mood, and is a natural energy booster. Practitioners of regular exercise can attest to the many benefits that consistent exercising provides. Being able to get dressed, lace up your shoes, put on a mask, and go for a run to start or end the day with can give you the sense of accomplishment and positivity which is very much needed at this time.
Practice social distancing
One of the advantages of running is that you can easily adjust your route or pace to maintain social distancing. Run in the places where there will be less people, turn towards the more empty road, or run during quieter times of the day.
Wear a mask
It is more prudent to just wear a mask any time you leave your home. Thankfully, there is a wide assortment of masks a runner can use that is safe for himself and for everyone else. As a running coach, and someone who has been running with different masks and coverings, here are some tips on running with a mask.
How to choose a mask
Try out different masks to find one that will allow you to breathe and perform the exercise easily. Get comfortable with the feel and altered breathing by starting off with just walking or going for a light jog.
I prefer to run with cloth masks or bandanas for the comfort, and because they allow me to do most types of trainings. These masks are also able to keep their form versus the ones that can fold in or lose their form.
What works for one person may not work for another, so I recommend shopping around and doing your own research. We are lucky to have many options to choose from.
Note: Apart from doing due research on the effectivity of your preferred mask for training and blocking airborne particles, you may also consult a health care professional to ease safety concerns.
Practice proper breathing
It is important to note that the mask should not impede breathing. Having a hard time breathing will cause your heart to work harder, making it very dangerous and even fatal.
• Focus on exhaling and blowing out the carbon dioxide rather than taking deep breaths.
• When you are out of breath or having a hard time breathing, stop or slow down to a walk until you feel better.
• Don’t run with a mask that is wet from rain or sweat, doing so will make it even more difficult to breathe. As an extra precaution, bring an extra mask.
Adjust your running program
Anticipate that running hard, doing sprints, or hitting VO2 training levels should not be the focus of your training.
Stay safe, stay healthy
Anyone can start running! All you need is a pair of shoes and the motivation to lace up and go out the door. Just wear a mask, practical social distancing, and pick a pace that is within your comfort level. Even easy and relaxed exercise can be helpful! It can boost our immunity, help with weight management, and release stress and anxiety. Stay safe, and stay healthy!
About The Writer
Vicente Bunuan is a full-time husband and father, and part-time Running Coach at InVINCIble Running. He has been married for thirteen years, and has two boys aged 6 and 12. Born in the Philippines, he moved to the U.S. as a child, and had all formal schooling there. He attended Georgetown University and graduated with a B.A. in Sociology and Psychology. He has worked in both higher education and in the non-profit industry in the U.S., as well as in Training & Development, and Marketing corporate companies in the Philippines. He and wife are also active in their sons’ schools as batch parent coordinators.
The views and opinions expressed by the writer are his/her own, and does not state or reflect those of Wyeth Nutrition and its principals.
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