Can You Catch Coronavirus During Outdoor Exercise?

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Working out and maintaining health during the coronavirus pandemic has been a challenge for the majority of people. During global lockdowns, many resorted to indoor exercises in order to prevent catching the infection. Now, gyms have reopened in many countries and many have returned to working out outdoors. However, contracting the virus is still a major concern.

The current evidence on coronavirus infection hotspots shows that gyms are among the places where transmission is common. This is applicable even if the gym strictly follows guidelines for coronavirus prevention. According to experts, it is the general atmosphere of gyms that allows the virus to spread.

Additionally, most gyms do not have the required level of ventilation that can effectively stop the transmission of SARS-CoV-2 in the air. As a result, people usually do end up getting the infection from the gym.

This is one of the reasons why outdoor activities such as running are being preferred over gyms especially now that many people simply cannot afford to continue to pay for their memberships. Physical activities such as running, walking, and exercising in parks are actually much more beneficial for health as shown by research.

Doing these activities especially in green spaces and outside of the city can not only maintain weight but help in managing mental health, relieve stress, and promote wellness and longevity. However, it does not mean that protection from the coronavirus in outdoor spaces is not required.

Read also: Catching the Coronavirus is Possible Even After Getting Vaccine 

In fact, people who choose to work out during rush hours or choose commonplaces of exercise including parks are encouraged to wear masks. While the risk of coronavirus transmission in outdoor spaces is lower than indoor places, it is possible to contract the virus from open gyms and parks.

Therefore, it is important to take precautions even when exercising in public places. This applies specifically to people who are in high-risk groups including older adults and people with underlying medical issues.

In addition to the virus, it is also equally important to stay protected from the harsh weather to avoid catching a cold. For those who have conditions such as asthma, this step cannot be skipped as the colder weather can actually trigger a severe reaction if proper precautions are not taken.

To adjust to the weather, make sure to dress appropriately. People with medical conditions should also do a slow warm up before running or the workout instead of a quick session. This will prevent asthma attacks and constriction of the airways as a reaction to the weather.

Secondly, wearing a mask while working out will not only help with avoiding the coronavirus infection but can also help in breathing better as it warms the air before breathing in.

Also, make sure to carry all essential items including a water bottle, a scarf, and other items. People with asthma should carry their inhalers. Others with underlying medical issues are also recommended to carry any pills or medicines in case of an emergency.

If the weather is too harsh for working out, it is better to take a day off. Indoor exercises are also beneficial and are safer than working out in extreme weather conditions.


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Abeera I. Kazmi

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