Physical fitness is incredibly important to a person’s overall health and well-being, and sports allow people to exercise and enrich their social lives. In short, sports are great, but the coronavirus pandemic has made it difficult for people to participate in sports. Can you play sports and remain safe from covid-19? That’s the question occupying every athlete’s attention.
What Makes a Sport Safer to Play?
The coronavirus pandemic presents a new set of parameters that we need to consider when judging the safety of any given activity. Generally speaking, safer sports or physical activities are those that require only a few people, no physical contact and take place outdoors. The only physical activities that present no risk of contracting covid-19 are those that can be done outdoors alone or can be practiced without any other people around.
What Makes a Sport Less Safe to Play?
Riskier sports share a few commonalities such as: more participants, closer proximity to others, necessary physical contact and an indoor location. The coronavirus is primarily spread through airborne droplets that are passed from person to person. So, sporting activities become less safe as more people become involved or if more physical contact is needed to participate. You should avoid any activity that takes place inside, requires more than 10 people and involves being in close proximity to others for extended periods of time. A mask can make some of these activities safer but will not guarantee your safety from covid-19.
Rules to Help Improve Sports Safety Amid Covid-19
No matter what sport or activity you choose, here are some general rules to help make your athletic outings safer during the covid-19 pandemic.
- Avoid playing if you feel sick or have a fever.
- When possible, wear a mask or face covering and maintain a safe social distance of at least 6-feet.
- Avoid huddles, high-fives and contact with teammates and opponents, if possible.
- Do not share drinks or snacks with anyone.
- Avoid spitting or blowing your nose without a tissue.
- Keep a personal rag for sweat and do not share it with anybody.
- Bring your own personal athletic equipment, hand sanitizer, and water bottle and do not share them with anyone.
- Pack your belongings neatly in a gym bag, and make sure that your teammates do not touch it.
- Avoid playing team sports inside of a building, if possible.
- Avoid playing contact sports.
- Avoid playing large team sports.
- If possible, sanitize your hands before using shared equipment.
How to Make Your Gym Bag Covid-Ready
If you decide to play sports during the pandemic, make sure that your gym bag is packed with your athletic equipment and protective items that will help you prevent the spread of covid-19. Your athletic bag should include:
- Hand sanitizer
- Personal Water Bottle
- Disinfectant Wipes
- Personal Towel
Sports that carry a lower risk often take place in physical isolation or involve very few people. Low-risk sports do not require contact with teammates or opponents and these activities mostly take place outdoors.
- Rock Climbing (outdoors)
- Yoga (outdoors)
- Swimming (outdoors)
The sports that carry a medium amount of risk involve numerous teammates and opponents and shared equipment and a moderate amount of contact. A few of these sports take place indoors, which also elevates the risk of spreading the coronavirus.
- Rock Climbing (indoors)
- Yoga (indoors)
- Soccer (outdoors)
- Swimming (indoors)
Sports categorized as high-risk involve multiple teammates and opponents and sustained physical throughout the game. During the coronavirus pandemic, these sports are incredibly risky to play due to the elevated odds of viral transmission.
- Ice Hockey
- Dance (indoors)
- Martial Arts
- Competitive Cheering
- Soccer (indoors)
Exercise Caution When Playing Sports
Sports are a vital aspect of everyday life for many Americans, but you must exercise caution when participating. By taking the necessary precautionary measures, you greatly improve your odds of remaining healthy and free from the coronavirus.