By STEVE STONEHOUSE | STRIDE San Diego
With millions of Americans going stir-crazy at home during quarantine, many are turning to running and walking as outlets for their physical and mental well-being. To get started on a new run or walk routine, here are some tips to stay safe while following the rules of social distancing.
The first tip can be hard to fathom, but it is necessary and that’s no headphones. Whether it’s cars, cyclists, other runners or bad guys, hearing what’s going on around you is far too important to pass up. If you must have your music, which I completely understand, turn the speaker up on your phone and listen that way.
The second piece of advice is if you have a dog, take them with you! When our routines change, so do the routines for our pets. The more exercise we can give our pets, the more equipped they’ll be to handle the stress and anxiety of these unique times. Also, bad guys don’t like to deal with dogs. They’re loud and dangerous when they need to be, which is great for safety purposes.
I may be in the minority here but I never like to wear a lot of reflective clothing or gear while I run. I completely understand the value of “standing out” if you run early in the morning or late at night, but I always felt that I’d rather see you, and be able to get out of your way instead of drawing a lot of attention to myself and hoping you steer clear of me. I’d rather have that responsibility and control than giving it away.
I don’t want to scare everyone, but social distancing can make us vulnerable at times. Historically, we’ve been told “there’s safety in numbers” (which is 100% true) and now we’re in the unique situation that we’re being told to “keep our distance” and “don’t gather in groups”. This confusion can cause us to make bad decisions if we’re not careful. I think it’s important that we focus on the “and,” not the “or.” It’s definitely possible to run with a partner, spouse or friend and still keep six-to-10 feet from each other on the trails or road. Be smart, hold your friends and family accountable to staying healthy. The roads and trails are big enough for all of us to stay healthy, stay fit and stay at a distance.
— Steve Stonehouse was brought on to the corporate STRIDE team in September of 2019 to scale the in-studio experience, design the STRIDE run coach certification and overall coach T&D. He is currently the director of education for STRIDE San Diego.