Christina Proctor, clinical assistant professor and internship coordinator in the College of Public Health, was quoted by Women’s Running about running in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic.
She was asked whether or not feeling more fatigued and short of breath while running is a potential indicator of infection. While she didn’t rule it out completely, she offered another explanation, saying that it’s more likely for a person to experience these symptoms from fatigue due to anxiety and stress. Proctor emphasizes that feeling anxious is a normal response to everything going on right now and that this kind of stress causes increased blood pressure and higher heart rate, which could easily make running feel more difficult than normal.
“I know looking back at my Garmin data over the last three weeks, my resting heart rate has been higher in general, and I’ve been struggling on runs,” she said.
Proctor also emphasized the importance of keeping a safe distance from other runners.
“It is smart to keep your distance when passing other runners,” she said. “There’s a lot of body fluid associated with running: spit, sweat and, of course with seasonal allergies, sneezing and coughing.”
If old routines are disrupted, she suggests getting creative.
“I know it is hard to break out of our favorite running routines and routes but now is a good time to explore new areas,” she said.