Exercising In The Time of COVID-19
Get outside and enjoy the sunshine! As busy as she is these days, Provincial Health Officer for British Columbia, Dr. Bonnie Henry, says she is still getting out for her daily runs! Getting outdoors for some daily exercise on your own, or with someone you live with, is still deemed to be fairly safe. Moreover, it is important for both your physical and mental health to keep active as we continue to self isolate.
Here are some general tips to help you stay active and stay safe:
- Heading out for a run? Try a new route! Popular walks like Vancouver’s Stanley Park Seawall are busier than usual making it difficult (if not impossible) to maintain 2m (6 ft) distance from other runners. Use this time to explore quieter locations in your neighborhood.
- Add some variety to your routine. Try incorporating some fartlek or speed work. For example you can add pick-ups between every other telephone pole, or try some hill repeats. Aim to come out of this period a stronger athlete!
- Try getting your exercise in at off peak times such as early in the morning or in the evening. Just be sure to keep safe and run in well-lit areas.
- Embrace the solo miles. Now is NOT the time to meet up with a group to run. Instead, look to arrange a virtual meet-up with your regular running mates to catch up on life and training.
- Avoid touching crosswalk signals with your hands. Use your elbow. You want to avoid touching your face with your hand after touching other surfaces. Bet you $50 you can’t rub your face with your elbow!
- Exercise safely.
- Be aware of your surroundings.
- Let someone know where you are going, when you will be back. Check in with them before / after.
- Don’t wear headphones. Know your surroundings, know when cars are coming and when someone might be approaching you. At minimum, leave one ear bud out.
- If getting out in the dark, early or late, make sure you can be seen. Wear bright and reflective clothing.
- Did you try to rub your face/head with your elbow? You owe me $50.
- Avoid the slipstream, if you encounter other runners on the trail give them a wide berth. Don’t follow too close behind. Sweat and breath will trail behind the runner, like a slipstream on a plane.
- Looking to do a workout at home? There are plenty of great resources available online, just be sure to use a safe space clear of any potential hazards.
- Where possible, have someone you live with supervise you. Or better yet, have them join you!
- Don’t have a fancy home gym? No Problem! There are plenty of body weight exercises you can do including:
- Other affordable and useful items for an effective workout at home are:
- Skipping rope for a good cardiovascular workout
- Free weights for strength-building and toning
- Gym ball to improve flexibility and maintain body balance
- A good exercise mat is useful too
***If you are in quarantine from recent travel or showing symptoms of illness, you should stay home.
Articles on Running Solo
- Runner’s World – How to Run Safely Amid COVID-19 Concerns
- Philadelphia Runner – COVID-19: How to Run Safe + Run Solo
- Canadian Running – A guide to socially responsible running during COVID-19
- iRun Magazine – Running outside is a tenuous gift. Eight things every runner must practice to stop making non-runners so mad.
- Canadian Running – Be Slipstream Conscious
- Check out Anxiety Canada’s tips on working through issues of anxiety related to COVID-19.
- Canadian Mental Health Association’s resources related to COVID-19 Mental Health and well-being.
- BounceBack BC is a free skill-building program designed to help adults and youth 15+ manage low mood, mild to moderate depression, anxiety, stress or worry.
- Article in the Oak Bay News with more mental health resources.
Support Local Businesses
Most local running stores are still fulfilling orders and are offering curbside pickup or delivery options.
A number of local restaurants have the same options - delivery and curbside pickup. Look at your favourite stores and restaurants and find out how you can support them!
Be Safe, Be Kind and Be Understanding
- No one wants the season to restart more than the Event Directors. For a number of them, events are their only income. As an Event Director you work your whole year to deliver an event on one day. They are doing their best but be safe and be understanding. Read more here.
- Here is a list of resources for Event Directors that we have been compiling.
Coaching During COVID-19
During this time of Social isolation coaches can offer support digitally but cannot be physically present when athletes are training. Instead look to utilize email, web conferencing, or the telephone to work with your coaches.
***Remember the “Rule of Two” when Coaching still applies when not working in-person.
The goal of the Rule of Two is to ensure all interactions and communications are open, observable, and justifiable. Its purpose is to protect participants (especially minors) and coaches in potentially vulnerable situations by ensuring more than one adult is present. Not only when being coached in person but when you are coaching / being coached in virtual formats. Check out this “Rule of Two” Infographic.
- Ensure a coach is never alone and out of sight with a participant without another screened coach or screened adult (parent or volunteer) present.
- Eliminate one-to-one electronic messaging. Ensure that all communications are sent to the group and/or include parents.
- Allow training environments to be open to observation by parents.
- Ensure an open and observable environment for all interactions between adults and participants.
- Avoid private or one-on-one situations. Leave the office door open or have the conversation in a visible but removed part of the facility.
Coaches, take the time to the Safe Sport Training. Create a culture where everyone can thrive. The Safe Sport Training module (available here) was developed by the Coaching Association of Canada and will help anyone involved in sport identify and prevent situations of maltreatment. Together, we can make sport safe for everyone. Visit https://safesport.coach.ca/ for more information.