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How to Exercise Safely During COVID-19

Guidelines to Follow to Maintain a Healthy Lifestyle During COVID-19

This week welcomed the changing of seasons and the Spring Equinox, and while we would normally be chattering about our full calendar of events and preparing for an exciting year of trail running and mountain biking, our community is faced with a slightly different set of circumstances. 

We’re all presented with a unique set of challenges right now. Our daily lives, normally consisting of training with friends, going to the gym and attending events has been significantly altered. 

Although it’s too early to see the light at the end of the tunnel just yet, we want to encourage you to stay motivated, healthy and fit through a very uncertain time. Exercise breathes life into each and every one of us at the Leadville Race Series, and we want to share some tips and advice with you on how to stay on track, safely and respectfully during the COVID-19 pandemic. 

It’s Still Safe to Exercise Outside

From a viral perspective, running and cycling outdoors are still considered to be very safe and currently allowed during shelter-in-place orders.* Don’t be afraid to get out and enjoy the fresh air! It is important, however, to continue to practice proper social distancing techniques and maintain 6 feet of separation from others and avoid group activities (heavy sigh). 

Wash your hands before and after your activity and wipe down your bike, running shoes, water bottles, hydration pack or any other equipment with sanitizing wipes. Your clean gear will thank you later. 

Additionally, take extra precautions while exercising outdoors during this time. Stick to your safest routes and trails and be extra cautious. Our health-care system is under extreme duress right now and unnecessary injuries that put additional strain on the system are the last thing our healthcare workers need right now. 

*As of now, shelter-in-place rules do allow for outdoor recreation like cycling, running and hiking. Please monitor the ever-changing guidelines and follow the recommendations from health officials should these guidelines change. 

At-Home Body Resistance Workouts and Yoga:

Sure, your gym is closed, but that doesn’t mean that you can’t stay on top of your resistance and core training. You’ll just have to get a little creative with at-home yoga and strength training. As little as a 20 minute workout a day can make a huge difference in your health and help to break up the monotony of your day. 

Check out “Minimalist DIY Workout here. No gym, no weights, and almost no space required. 

Many companies have made their online classes free for 60-90 days during the pandemic. Here’s a helpful list of free options: 

Indoor Cycling or Running:

There’s no time like the present to hop on that indoor spin bike or treadmill that’s been sitting in your garage or invest in an indoor trainer. Recent advancements in trainer technology have made indoor cycling increasingly effective, and platforms like Zwift allow you to ride virtually with others and even compete in online races. 

In fact, using the indoor trainer to focus on specific workouts can ultimately make you stronger when it’s time to ride outside. It’s a great opportunity to introduce a bit of additional structure in a controlled environment so that you can reap the rewards down the road. 

A trainer or treadmill might not give you the same rush you get when running or riding outside, but using it as a tool for structured indoor training can turn these otherwise challenging circumstances into an opportunity to boost your fitness. 

Stress & Mental Health:

The additional stress that COVID-19 is placing on all of our lives is undeniable. We know that this pandemic will undoubtedly take an emotional toll on all of us in some form or another. The first line of defense against mental health issues lies in the form of exercise, proper nutrition and sleep. 

Link: 5 tips to maintaining Self-Care During Coronavirus

We know that maintaining normal sleep patterns during a stressful time is a challenge. If you’re struggling with healthy sleep habits, check out: 5 tips to get a great night’s sleep here

We also recommend that you seek help with a licensed mental health care professional if you require it. There are many modern ways of doing this virtually if you can’t see someone in person. Try a new application like Headspace or Calm for additional resources. 

Listen to the Experts:

We can’t stress enough to educate yourself and stay informed on the most up to date recommendations from the CDC and WHO. As information constantly changes, it’s our responsibility to defer to the public health officials on this matter. 

WHO website

CDC website

Additional Resources: 

Household Checklist

How to Prepare for Prevention

Coronavirus FAQ

Resist the Urge to Travel:

Cheap flights, empty trails and seemingly easy travel conditions may sound appealing at a time like this but we encourage you to listen to the advice of health professionals and stay close to home. 

We Will Get Through This

And lastly, remember that we are all in this together. We are going to pull through this dark time and be stronger for it. It’s time for us all to dig deep into that inexhaustible well of grit, guts and determination so that we can emerge as stronger athletes and human beings.  

We can’t wait to see you in Leadville.

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