Written by Kerry Marraffino
You probably think this article is going to tell you to stay 6 feet apart from people but you probably already know what guidelines you’re supposed to follow because of COVID-19. My time away from the gym during this crisis has gotten me thinking about things I don’t usually spend much time on.
Here’s what I’ve discovered in my time away from the gym;
- I’ve been running and jogging outside more than ever before. Running isn't my exercise of choice but a mom's gotta do what a mom's gotta do to stay fit. This first piece of advice is for the ladies with long hair! Most women with long hair run in ponytails because their hair could get in their eyes and make them feel hotter while running. The problem with this is that ponytails can be easily grabbed by any potential attacker you see while running. Unfortunately, I haven’t been able to find much advice regarding this topic online. Until more light is shed on the situation, it's better to stay cautious. Perhaps a braid would be better? I french braid my hair and then put it into a bun just to be safe.
- Try to go on runs, walks, or bike rides at different types every day. It's best not to be a creature of habit in this situation so that no one will be able to know your schedule and follow you on your route.
- I picked up this next piece of advice right before I moved to Brazil thanks to my dad. You should always tell a trusted friend or family member where you’re going and when to expect you back. You should make it clear that they should try to look for you if you are not back by a certain time. You should also be responsible in this situation by checking in with your friends and family while out exercising just to keep them from worrying. This way you can avoid freaking them out if you decide to go out with your friends and your phone dies ;)
- Bring a flashlight with you or put a flashing light on your shoes or clothes if you’re running at night or even around dawn or dusk. You may think cars can see you because you can see them just fine but most of the time they don’t. Drivers are looking out for other cars most of the time, not people on the side of the road, or even on the crosswalk. Be careful and don't be afraid to stand out. Now's your time to shine!
- If you chose to carry a weapon with you make sure you know how to use it and realize that it may be used against you. Verify that it is legal where you are. Mace is illegal in some states, counties, or countries.
- If you can’t bring water with you while you exercise, you should at least make sure you drink plenty of water before you leave and have a couple of bucks on you to buy a bottle of water if you get the chance.
- Make sure you carry a picture ID with emergency contact info. If something happens and you can’t communicate, don't you want the first responders to contact your loved one as soon as they can? A copy of your health insurance card never hurts either.
- Enjoy your time outside by stopping to look at the flowers and animals. Take some deep breaths and snap some pictures if you can. At the same time, you should still be as careful as possible. Make sure you always know what is going on around you/ Don't let the endorphins take over! You should be using all your senses. Smell cigarette smoke, see a shadow coming closer, headlights, or someone who just looks like trouble? It helps to notice these things as soon as you can.
- If you like to run with a weighted vest, you should start slowly just like I did. I would try 5% or less of your body weight the first time out. I ran slowly and stopped to walk pretty frequently at the beginning with a lightweight vest. You can gradually build from where you start. Make sure to warm up well and stretch before and after. If you want to get the same vest I used, you can get it here!
I’ll finish up by encouraging you to go outside and move your body as much as you can. You can always bring a friend as long as you stand 6 feet apart from them.
Make sure to leave your thoughts in the comment, and share it with your friends if you can!