Does exercising outside increase your risk of catching coronavirus?

Exercise, particularly outdoors, has been shown to reduce anxiety and depression, as well as improve your mood. With the current COVID-19 pandemic, people are itching to get out of their houses and move. But how about outdoor sports?

Experts recommend maintaining 6 feet of separation to combat the rapid spread of COVID-19. So, are you at risk if you step outside for some exercise?

“Self-isolating does not mean giving up outdoor sports,” explained Dr. Neha Vyas, of Cleveland Clinic.

Things like running and hiking are ideal, as long as you keep that distance. Golf is also an option, just use separate carts and wipe everything down when you’re done.

“Any sport that doesn’t require close physical contact can be continued,” Vyas said.

What about tennis or pickleball?

“If you have a doubles partner and you’re banging into that doubles partner, that might be a risk," warned Dr. Raymond Pontzer, chief of infectious disease at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center.

Contact sports like volleyball, basketball or football, which require a lot of passing, should definitely be avoided.

Vyas says to avoid any sport that requires more than one person.

To stay healthy, wash your hands consistently. Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth. And if soap and water aren’t readily available, use a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol.