Gary Saitowitz

Experts now predict that the novel coronavirus is not going away anytime soon. As such, we can assume that returning to old routines will not be possible or practical for a while. While businesses have to get back to operate, they will now do so with significant changes. We won’t be able to have gatherings in large group settings for a while. Even when meeting with friends and family, you have to abide by social distancing guidelines. In many states, gyms have not opened, so people have had to adopt new workout routines. And, even if they start to open, there is no guarantee that you will be able to go in without a mask or with a partner.

Everyone knows that walking can offer many health benefits and is accessible, even during the COVID-19 pandemic. Politicians also suggest opting for outdoor exercises as opposed to going to gyms in many states. As such, walking is one of the safest forms of exercise right now. Still, you may worry about crowds on sidewalks and trails. You may have doubts about staying safe while you walk. Below, you will find suggestions for the concerns you may have.

Gary Saitowitz: Walking safely for your personal health and fitness during the pandemic

Maintain social distance

Whether you walk or hike, you can practice social distancing, keeping at least a six-foot gap between yourself and others. Avoid places you know will be busy. Make sure to research state guidelines before going out. Wear a mask at all times unless you are sure that you’re completely alone. If others don’t follow social distancing guidelines, you should not intervene unless they walk too close to you; walk away and avoid the confrontation when possible.

You can walk in a single line to make space for others who are passing by you. Be vigilant of your surroundings and make sure you are keeping safety in mind at all times.

Wear the right attire for outdoor exercises

According to Gary Saitowitz, you have to be careful about what you wear for outdoor workout sessions during this pandemic. For example, you should wear a face mask to prevent spreading or coming into contact with a person’s infectious respiratory droplets. For your outfit, what you wear should be able to absorb sweat from your skin quickly and leave you dry as you move. This is even more critical in the wintertime because of the need to keep warm to prevent catching a cold, the flu, or COVID-19. In summer, dress in what makes you comfortable.

There are fabrics, including moisture-wicking, dry-fit, and supplex, which can be useful for such a purpose. If you hike high trails where the weather can suddenly change, it is ideal to opt for the material that is versatile. Bring layers just in case.

Change yourclothing when you get home

Studies show that COVID-19 can remain on surfaces for nearly 72 hours. When you come back, you should take off your clothes and place them directly into a laundry bag. As soon as you are finished exercising, change out of your clothing right when you step in your home and shower as soon as possible.