How to Practice Sport while Social Distancing
Sophie G. takes a look at the possibilities of maintaining your sport and fitness routines while following social distancing norms.
With the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic, many sports enthusiasts have been forced to stay at home. Because of various restrictions and lockdown policies, the closest you could get to the practicing sport has been rooftop fitness, fitness apps, home games, or participating in online fantasy sports on sports sites such as Sports Pundit.
However, things are changing, with governments rolling out relaxations to restrictions when it comes to outdoor life. Moreover, it looks like it may be many more months before the coronavirus will subside, so you should wait until it is all over to resume practising your favourite sport. In this respect, the best thing is to find ways to keep active and pursue your sporting passions without compromising your or others’ safety.
Choose Distance-maintaining Sports
One of the best ways to take part in active sports and still maintain social distancing is to play cricket. It is perhaps the only major game that can be played with the standard number of people in each team and still not require any two people to come into close physical contact. However, players must sanitise their hands regularly as their hands can come in frequent contact with the ball. Tennis is another possibility. Since it is a game where the players stay at either end of the court, there is no risk of physical contact with other players.
Even though touching the ball can still be risky, the players can safely play if they make sure to thoroughly wash or sanitise their hands before starting to play and avoid touching their faces. Another sport you can play while maintaining social distancing is golf, though players should wear gloves when they handle rakes or flags. By using your equipment instead of shared or hired gear, you can increase the safety margin. Similarly, other sports such as kayaking or cycling, offer ample possibilities for maintaining social distancing.
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Form Smaller Teams
Players can also practice other sports while following social distancing norms by cutting down on the number of players in the teams. It will be especially helpful with informal sessions of indoor games such as basketball and volleyball, though they can never claim as much distance between players as in a game of cricket, for example. An additional advantage of cricket is that all members of the batting team do not need to be on the pitch at the same time.
However, for any sport, involving fewer players, eliminating large crowds, and provide more distance between players will help. Choosing a larger area for indoor sports or moving outdoors can further increase safety.
Adjust Timings in Facilities
Currently, sports facilities, clubs and gyms are closed in many parts of the world. However, these are gradually opening up us governments recognise the importance of these businesses for the economy, not to mention the health and wellbeing of the general population. It is good news for the many people who depend on gyms and clubs to pursue their sport.
To reduce crowding, you can choose to visit a facility at a time when there are likely to be fewer people. Facility managers should also take steps to spread out the total number of attendees across all operating hours by restricting the number of hours for every individual. This will help bring down the total number of users at any given time. Additionally, regular disinfection of all shared equipment is essential.
Try Solo Activities
COVID-19 is also the perfect time to try solo activities such as long-distance running or cycling. These activities have almost zero chances of coming into physical contact with another person. You can even try activities such as bouldering or hiking. When you go out walking or jogging in your local area, remember to choose less crowded areas and paths.
The COVID-19 pandemic has disturbed our lives and routines, meaning that many people do not get regular exercise, let alone actively participating in sports. To many, sports and games are not just ways to maintain their fitness, but also an essential part of their social life. The pandemic has disrupted this, but governments are gradually relaxing restrictions to allow public sports, starting with those involving less physical contact.
Eventually, and step-by-step, other forms of sports will also be allowed. Once facilities are open and restrictions are lifted, it is essential to be cautious and protect your health as you jump into sports again. You should assess the safety of each activity before taking the plunge, considering factors such as the number of players involved, the distance possible between participants, and the level of contact between players.
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About the Author
Sophie G. is Content Head of Fat Free Productions.