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7 Tips for Walking Outside During the Coronavirus Pandemic

woman walking with mask on during coronavirus pandemic

Is walking a justified risk?

Since walking has many health benefitsit helps weight management and boosts moodstepping out for a stroll is a good idea. But, when infection risk is high, controlling the virus spread is crucial. So: Is walking safe or smart?”Yesthe immune system needs exercise to do its job at its highest level,” says David Nieman, a professor of exercise science and director of Appalachian State University’s Human Performance Lab in Kannapolis, North Carolina. “During moderate exercise like walkingand for two or three hours afterimportant immune cells … come out at higher rates than normal, making contact with pathogens to get rid of them.” Inactive people miss out on this advantage, says Nieman. (Here are the signs you need to move more.)A couple of general tips if you’re not accustomed to walking for exercise outdoors: Wear bright or even reflective clothing to make yourself more visible; stick to sidewalks if possible; stay aware of pedestrians, bikes, and cars around you; and if you have to walk in the street, walk on the side of the road that has you facing oncoming traffic.

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