Is it safe to run during the current pandemic?

The recent COVID-19 pandemic has severely affected businesses and individuals alike. Perhaps one of the more effects of this public health crisis is an increased awareness of our own mortality and the impact our lifestyle choices have on our overall health and wellbeing. One lifestyle factor where that impact has become more apparent is exercise. Questions arise such as, “Is exercise safe during this pandemic?” Or, “what kind of precautions should I take when I do exercise?” These and similar concerns have been raised by athletes throughout the world. So, what answers are there and what solutions can we seek while simultaneously continuing to exercise.


First and foremost, it is important from a philosophical standpoint to approach adversity with an eye directed at what you can control. Except for a number of individuals, we cannot directly influence or change problems such as the economy, politics, or public health policy. For many, even their employment may not be directly under their control. But in that apparent absence of control is an important lesson – use our experience as runners to reinforce the importance of focusing on what you can control. Let me explain. When we are out for a run we cannot change or alter the steps we took five minutes ago and we cannot immediately influence what we’ll do in five more minutes. Running teaches us to focus on the moment at hand and let go of concerns about factors outside of our immediate control. Therein lies a lesson for handling the psychological challenges of this current crisis.


Dr. Williams was recently interviewed by NBC Journalist Gwen Aviles regarding running during this current pandemic. He discussed several facets of running during this crisis with Gwen and you can read that article here: https://www.nbcnews.com/pop-culture/pop-culture-news/you-can-still-run-outside-during-coronavirus-pandemic-here-s-n1179356.

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