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Sports Distancing: How to Protect yourself while Exercising


We are all anxious to be free again, to enjoy running and cycling in the great outdoors after 46 days in the Malaysian quarantine. However, we need to bear in mind that the covid-19 virus continues to linger and we need to adjust ourselves to live with it.

Practising primarily in a government hospital, Dr. Pui San is also an avid athlete who keeps fit by running, cycling and weight lifting, so she would be able to relate with our ToughASIA readers.

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Before you dust off your shoes and reconnect with the tarmac, Dr. Pui San – a sports and exercise doctor – would be the best person to advise you on ‘sports distancing’.

According to the doctor, ‘Sports Distancing’ means continuing to maintain adequate distance between us and others when exercising outdoors.

In her Instagram post she explained, “At rest, 1 metre between individuals is adequate. But when we do low intensity exercises like walking, that distance increases to 6 metres.”

“As intensity progresses to jogging/running/cycling, the minimum distance to maintain is 10 meters.”

“But if you factor in wind/breeze that likely will carry infected respiratory droplets to you, the distance can go up to a minimum of 20 metres!”, she explains further.

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This is important as you might not be aware that you carry the virus as you could be asymptomatic (no symptoms and appear well). Therefore, you could carry the virus home to your young children and elderly ones or pass it on to others.

How to Protect yourself while Exercising

  • Always protect yourself and protect others.
  • Face mask (3-ply surgical) is still highly recommended although it’s uncomfortable to wear while exercising.
  • Where and when possible, continue to exercise at home.
  • If you need to run outside, try to go alone or in small groups of less than 10 people.