The recent COVID-19 pandemic has made many of us appreciate the importance of taking certain safety precautions when outdoors. For instance, it’s not uncommon to step outside of your home and see people wearing face coverings these days. According to the CDC, wearing at least a cloth face covering when outdoors (particularly in public settings) can help reduce the spread of the virus.
However, if you’re someone who enjoys running and/or biking outside, you might wonder if wearing a mask is necessary. After all, because you’ll be traveling by anyone you encounter fairly quickly, you may understandably assume there’s no need to wear what can naturally be an uncomfortable garment.
There’s no universal answer to the question of whether you should wear a face covering while exercising outdoors. The following points will help you better understand the ideal course of action. Just keep in mind, while you’re focusing on adopting new safety precautions during the COVID-19 pandemic, you should also remember to abide by other safety tips when exercising, such as wearing comfortable shoes.
COVID-19 Questions: It is Necessary to Wear a Face Covering While Exercising Outdoors?
The specific circumstances in which you are exercising will determine whether you should wear a face covering when exercising outside of your home during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The CDC primarily recommends wearing face coverings outside your home when you’re in situations where maintaining a safe distance between yourself and other members of the public isn’t always easy. For instance, if you’re taking a trip to the grocery store, you absolutely should wear a face covering.
Everyone needs to understand that wearing face coverings isn’t actually about protecting themselves from contracting the virus. It’s about preventing the virus from spreading to others. Although you might assume a face covering isn’t necessary if you’re feeling healthy, many people don’t realize that they can carry the virus for relatively long periods of time without showing any symptoms. Even if you feel completely fine, if you go to a public area without a face covering, there’s a distinct possibility you’ll infect someone else. You need to take responsibility and do your part to guard against this.
Thus, if you’re running or biking in an area where you expect to encounter other people, you need to wear a face covering, even if doing so is uncomfortable. Even on isolated trails, you should at least bring a mask with you. Your ideal goal should be to get out of the way and maintain distance from anyone you come across if you do run into others. However, if this is unavoidable, you should at least have the option of putting on a mask quickly.
Just keep in mind that wearing a mask while running or biking will restrict airflow to some degree. You need to exercise a greater degree of caution when working out while wearing your face covering. Listen to your body, and take breaks if you feel yourself getting short of breath.
Wearing a face covering while running or biking outside certainly isn’t convenient, but in some cases, it may be necessary. We all need to do our part to protect others.