Why do I see more Runners on the road these days ?
The current lock-downs imposed by Governments in various parts of the world have thrown regular life of its citizens entirely out of gear. The reason behind the lock-downs is valid and at the given point in time is the only known measure with humankind to contain spread of the current endemic.
(This post is our first one with a related video, please scroll down till the end for watching, and let us know if like it)
As of now, workplaces in various part of the world are under closure and employees advised to work from home. Another casualty to this safeguard is fitness centres. Be it gyms, swimming pools, community exercising, or any place where people gathered is now out of bounds. So how are people taking care of their fitness regimes? To get my answers, I turned to social media, as it is the best place to discover current trends.
One wouldn’t be surprised by the answer. People have taken to running in large numbers, and have a variety of reasons for it, which are not limited to physical fitness.
So what are those reasons? I will cover them in the following part of this article.
Closure of workplaces leading to more time for runners
Closure of workplaces in the U.K have left people with a lot of time, and they have no reasons to leave their homes. Thus they are taking running as an avenue for getting out of their houses. As a result, a higher number of people are now running regularly. Closure of pubs and bars is also contributing to this trend.
In the U.S and Canada, a large number of people have stated that running is the only daily activity which is helping them to maintain sanity in the current circumstances. Humans are social animals, and social distancing is creating a lot of stress on them. Hence daily runs have become an essential aspect of life now.
Not many other options left for runners
There are instances of die-hard gym-goers who have no other option left and have taken up running as it is a no-contact activity. Now they are discovering the benefits of running and intend to continue, even after the gyms reopen. Even swimmers have taken up running; they realise that swimming involves upper body muscles and taking up running will help work the leg muscles, it is a win-win situation for them.
I want to make a special mention of a runner who ran a marathon a couple of years back and then dropped out due to lack of motivation. The gentleman in the current circumstances has re-taken to running and is now planning to run a half marathon when-ever the official races are allowed in the future.
We must note that so many people taking up this activity has a downside too. In New York, regulars have seen an upsurge of newbies, whom one can easily spot in their sweatshirts, sneakers and large headphones. A seasoned runner rued the fact that there is a steady stream of newbies near the Husdon and the situation has turned scary. Given the current circumstances, she has decided to do yoga since it is a comfortable indoor activity.
A routine runner from Chicago has been wearing masks while out for runs and is now planning to workout indoors given the upsurge and fear of infections. According to another runner, Bayshore in Tampa used to be a ghost town early in the morning. He ran miles without passing anyone, and now, there is another runner every two minutes. People have resorted to various tactics while running to avoid getting infected. Few runners are holding breaths while passing, and some are now running on roads to prevent crashing into others on the sidewalks.
How are the authorities reacting to this?
Now the question arises, how are the authorities reacting to this? While they are advising people to stay home, some families have started coming out with kids in tow. This trend is worrisome, and now the governments are urging people to desist coming out for runs too. They may only leave their homes for unavoidable tasks and running, or walking pets isn’t one of those. This advisory is correct since running was supposed to be an individual sport, and now with so many people on the road, the idea of social distancing is getting defeated. An avid runner in India had commented that earlier he used to get only one notification of his friends joining on his running app every two weeks. However, now it is almost two-three notifications every week.
What to do now?
As a part of an avid runners community myself, I welcome every new joiner to the community. Running is a beautiful low entry barrier sport with many benefits. However, we need to be very cautious while running given the current scenario and need to adhere to the rules laid out by respective local authorities as they are for our safety.
I sincerely hope you liked reading this article and found it insightful. Please let me know your views by writing below in the comment section or emailing me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Thank you for reading!