Almost every part of our daily routine has been impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic and despite comprehensive advice from health authorities, there are still some questions about what we can and can't do.
As of March 31, indoor and outdoor public gatherings will be limited to two persons only (with exceptions around household units, families, elopements and funerals). Australians are now strongly advised to stay home unless you are shopping for food or necessary supplies, medical or healthcare needs, exercise in compliance with public gathering requirements, work and study if you can't do so remotely.
So... it safe to go running and how do you comply with the requirements while doing so?
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First of all, what is social distancing?
Social distancing is when you reduce contact between yourself and other people. Social distancing guidelines advise keeping 1.5 metres between yourself and other people where possible and avoiding gatherings. Doing this and practicing good personal hygiene are two of the best things we can do to help slow the spread of coronavirus, protecting the most vulnerable members of the community and reducing the pandemic's impact on the healthcare system.
Social distancing is not the same as self isolation. Self isolation is essential if you have tested positive for COVID-19, you have been identified as a close contact of a person with confirmed COVID-19 infection, or you have entered Australia from anywhere overseas. If you are self isolating you are required to stay on your property, indoors or in your back yard if you have one. You should not go running if you are self isolating or if you feel unwell.
So... is running safe while social distancing?
Doctor Preeya Alexander says that if you're not self-isolating due to international travel or contact with a confirmed case of COVID-19, running in a non-crowded area is safe and encouraged.
"It’s great for your mental, and physical, health right now," she told Men's Health. "Unless you're self isolating due to symptoms or contact with a case it’s fun to have a run in a non crowded place! In fact I would encourage it – avoid people, but keep active for your brain and body!"
Social distancing guidelines advise keeping 1.5 metres between yourself and other people where possible and avoiding gatherings
Can coronavirus be spread through sweat?
While there's usually plenty of social distancing between you and the next jogger, what's the deal if you're passing by a particularly sweaty runner?
The current understanding is that COVID-19 is transmitted through droplets, spread by coughing, sneezing or contact with contaminated objects like hands or surfaces. There's no evidence that coronavirus is spread through sweat. But still, keep your distance as much as possible.
What precautions can I take while running?
Aside from keeping a good distance between you and others, always practice good hygiene. According to the World Health Organisation the jury is still out on how long the virus that causes COVID-19 survives on surfaces but studies suggest it could be anywhere from a few hours to several days.
Avoid touching communal surfaces like water taps and traffic buttons, and be sure to wash your hands as soon as you get home.
Lauren WilliamsonLauren Williamson is the Digital Content Manager for Women's Health and Men's Health. She's an experienced journalist, editor and social media fiend who's well versed in reporting on everything from food trends to fitness, health news to haircare. She has a double degree in Journalism and Political Science.