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You’ve organized your entire closet, cleaned every square inch of your home, and baked enough pastries for the entire neighborhood. Now what? During these tough times, it’s easy to feel helpless and stuck. How about you pick up a new hobby? Have you ever thought of running? If you’re already an avid runner then this time may be especially difficult for you. You’re used to the freedom of roaming around your town with the wind in your hair while you propel yourself forward. Now, if that sounds entirely unfamiliar to you, don’t worry. Soon enough you’ll turn that built up anxiousness into sweat and endorphins.

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First, you may be asking yourself, why on earth would I want to start running? According to Buzzfeed News Reporter, Brianna Sacks, “Running can become therapy, church, a void where you can be present and absent all at once. It’s a time in which you can blast that one song on repeat and a way to release rage, process pain, cry.” Not to mention it’s proven that running can give your mental health a very much needed boost. Running also strengthens muscles, improves cardiovascular fitness, and can help your immune system keep viruses at bay. Note, if you are exhibiting cold or flu-like symptoms, it is recommended you do not go running outside.

Before you sprint out the door, let’s go over how to stay safe while running outdoors. According to Runners World, “The best plan for running right now is to go out for a solo run and enjoy the outdoors, in noncrowded areas. Try timing your run for when you know the trails will be less crowded.” Keep in mind that the CDC “recommends wearing cloth face coverings in “public settings, where other social distancing measures are difficult to maintain” in order to avoid community-based transmission of the virus.” However, if it is unlikely you will come into contact with others, then there is little to no benefit of wearing a face covering. As Runners World states, “Face coverings do two possible things—they contain spread from the ill and prevent inhalation in the healthy.” If you’re nervous about the possibility of transmission from sweat, don’t worry, there is none. According to the CDC, the transmission of the coronavirus happens between people who are in close contact with one another (about six feet) and through respiratory droplets, produced through a cough or sneeze.

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Now, if you’re like many people who have a competitive spirit and your favorite part of running is the rush of adrenaline trying to beat your competitor then solo runs may not cut it. Do not fret because according to NPR, “iRunFar and the Quarantine Backyard Ultra, were created in response to the pandemic and were never meant to be in-person events. These online races allow runners to sign up for a particular distance and then run on their own time outdoors or on a treadmill. You can run anywhere — literally. People are logging miles in their driveways, in stairwells, and on balconies.”

If you’re interested in more running apps that can even personalize your routes, check out the 12 Best Running Apps of 2020.

We hope you feel a little less stressed and a little more supported during these difficult times. We wish you health, happiness, and a heck of a run.

Photo Credit: Unsplash