By Gill Stewart at
TO OUR NORDIC WALKING UK COMMUNITY
At this time of global crisis we appreciate that each and every person will have decisions to make in order to keep them and their loved ones as risk free as possible.
Things are changing daily so we thought we would provide a few TIPs to help you take the right steps…… both now and in the coming weeks. Rest assured we will remain on hand with ideas, inspiration and support.
IS WALKING SAFE AT THE MOMENT?
Absolutely – being active in the outdoors is the best way to stay active and preferable to being indoors where you would be in close proximity to others. Being inside, especially in Public areas you are more likely to touch the same surfaces as others who may be infected and could be exposed to airborne droplets should they sneeze or cough
Whilst you may still be handling gates, stiles etc and might want to cleanse your hands afterwards (especially if somebody has just handled it before you).Whilst some people have stated that virus is less likely to survive after exposure to sunlight (UVA) – there is no clear evidence re this at this stage.
WHAT ABOUT POLES AND EQUIPMENT?
If the poles are yours and you have been hand washing regularly and keeping them clean – you should be fine and of course, you will also be working your whole body so will gain more exercise benefits in a shorter time. Avoid sharing any kit or equipment at this time though and watch where you put your backpack etc down too. Take care to clean any item that may have been placed where somebody with the virus may have been.
IF I CHOOSE TO WALK ALONE HOW WILL I KNOW WHERE TO GO?
This is a common question at the moment as we know many of you value the route planning your Instructors are so good at. However, there are lots of great route sharing APPs and websites out there – we love our friends at The Outdoor Guide and the Ordnance Survey GET OUTSIDE
Many of our Instructors will now also be sharing routes that they have previously planned and risk assessed with customers who may wish to walk alone at this time. Stay in touch with your Instructor who will also be working hard to create a local community and provide motivation.
SHOULD I STAY LOCAL?
Yes, the advice is to avoid unnecessary travel so explore near to home and avoid using Public Transport or busy areas.
SHOULD I GO WALKING IF I AM ADVISED TO SELF ISOLATE?
NO – The advice is quite clear that if you have ANY symptoms of Coronavirus, however mild, you MUST NOT leave your home for at least 7 days after they first appeared
This also applies if others in your household display symptoms in which case ALL Members of the household should not leave the house for 14 days since the first person displayed any symptoms You can go into your Gardens as the Virus is not airborne but please maintain a distance from any boundaries
If you are self isolating due to being in a high risk category – we advise you follow all guidance and avoid unnecessary social contact
Check in here for more info on the stay at home guidance https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/covid-19-stay-at-home-guidance
IS IT OK TO WALK WITH OTHERS?
Walking is safe as long as you avoid crowded areas and walk with trusted friends or loved ones. However its still important to appreciate the need for hygiene, social distancing etc. Other risk factors (such as recent foreign travel or symptoms like a cough or fever) are also important things that everyone should monitor.
You should always also be mindful of your own personal risk factors and that of your loved ones. If you have pre existing medical conditions, are over 70 or have expectant Mothers in your household for instance
As we said at the top of this post – we will aim to motivate and inspire you throughout this crisis and really do hope that you and your loved ones all stay well. Together we will get this this.