As COVID-19 continues to spread, it causes most of the running events to be cancelled or postponed. It also affects the training and schedule of most runners.
Although we must exercise precautions, we should not be over panicky and locked ourselves indoor unnecessarily unless we are advised not to go out.
Most importantly, you must be wondering what will happen if you do not run for two weeks and what can we do to maintain our fitness level.
Losing Your Running Fitness
Studies show that after two weeks of not running, VO2 max decreases by 6% from your peak physical fitness. A 6% decline in VO2 max can be made up with one or two weeks of solid training.
However, after 7-10 days of not running, you will lose some muscle power and coordination.
You may also feel not as sharp since exercise helps pump oxygen to the brain. A lack of exercise will also lead to higher levels of energy in the body and could lead to restless or insufficient sleep.
The longer the time off you stopped running, the more difficult it will be for you to start up once again.
If you stopped running for 30 days, things could get worse.
For runners who usually go for running or gym training, there are the few tips you can do to keep your training on track without going outdoors.
Losing Your Cool
Humans are social creatures, so if we continues to stay indoors and reluctant to go out because of virus threat—and thus cut off from other people, we may experience cabin fever.
Beyond the social aspect, boredom is dangerous. If you go through a long period of time with nothing to do, or are following the exact routine over and over again, it could wear on your mind.
Besides that, reports have shown that extended periods of time cooped up with one’s family may inadvertently lead to rising tensions and conflict at home.
One way to maintain your body’s schedule is to work out regularly, because physical activity helps keep your circadian rhythms on track.
If you are facing movement restrictions in your area or being self-quarantine for 14 days, you can continue to perform some exercises at home to keep yourself healthy and keep on track with your training plan.
You can perform bodyweight exercises or running on an at-home treadmill if you have one. If you are sick, do not perform any exercises and get plenty of rest instead.
While you are at home, there are a few at-home exercises to keep your body going. You can perform different variations to make them harder or easier.
- Jumping Squats
- Mountain climbers
- Jump rope
- Pistol squats
Get creative on your fitness tools
If you need to add up some weight to your workout, prepare a few gallon jugs of water to replace dumbbells that can provide some resistance for squats, lunges, shoulder presses, and other movements.
You can spice things up if you feel that doing repetitive sets are boring. For example, you can look for a workout challenge such as 100 burpees in 5 minutes or “pulse” to squat or lunges in one minute.
Are you safe to run outside?
For runners, who are not in any movement restrictions or self-quarantine, it’s recommended to run outdoors to get more vitamin D from the sunlight and the scenery is better.
As a matter of fact, it’s safer to run outside than indoor when it comes to disease transmission.
Going out for a run for 30 to 60 minutes can help maintain your immune system and body in peak conditions and decreases in tension, confusion, anger and depression.
If you feel unwell or at-risk of spreading the virus, please be socially responsible and stay at home and rest instead. If you are not running alone, but, instead running with a small group of healthy buddies, you can protect yourself by avoiding unnecessary hand touching and be sensible. In addition to that, it is best for you to practise good hygiene as well.
Social distancing doesn’t mean you should not run with you friends at all.
Always remember to wash your hands when you get back or as often as you can. Try to minimal your exposure or avoid close contact with sick people in that situation.
The best way to offset these health consequences is to engage in habitual physical activity. So even if you can’t do your regular running session, simply getting some exercises during the day, such as climbing up stairs, can help.
No matter you are running indoor or outdoor, please stay safe and take care of your health.
Featured Photo Credit: 123RF