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Running on the "Right" Side of The Road

Updated: Aug 6, 2020

As if some sort of curse, or maybe a blessing in the cruelest form of disguise, COVID-19 has put life, as we know it, on hold. While it seems as if our global community is slowly beginning to heal and find ways to gradually open up in the safest ways possible, life is not the same as it used to be. But humankind was born resilient, able to adapt to changing circumstances. Yeah, that’s right, you heard us correctly–we’ve got this!

People are getting creative with how they fill their quarantine time–from blow-up backyard tacos for the kids to zoom-led workouts with friends they normally don’t get the chance to “see.” Not surprisingly, many people are also going back to the workout basics, and starting, or allocating more time, to run. In fact, running, and outdoor exercise in general, has seen a boom during the coronavirus pandemic.

According to Tayla Minsberg at the New York Times, “There’s an unspoken language among runners – one that’s perfectly communicated outside the buffer zone recommended by the Centers for Disease Prevention.” Minsberg is referring to the “slight nod” that constitutes a greeting between runners, a much needed form of social connection and acknowledgement in a time where “social” is routinely confined to a screen.

With the current concerns around health and COVID-19 prevention, there are many resources available on how to run safely outdoors. Give this NPR article a read to learn more about How Runners Can Keep Themselves And Others Safe During The Pandemic.

We know that this is a time marked by a lot of uncertainty: What is the best way to transition into online learning? Is my favorite restaurant going to make it through the summer? How can I continue to live a healthy lifestyle without being able to go to my gym and yoga classes? (more to come on this question in future blogs!) And from many, when will this all be over?

Still, one question, at least to us health-fanatics here, rings louder than the rest: Now that the weather is getting nicer and more and more people are trying to get their steps in for the day: Which side of the road should I be running on?

According to the law, if there is a sidewalk, runners should be on it, regardless of the direction in which they are running. While there is no federal law mandating which side of the road pedestrians should be on if there is no sidewalk, both the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the U.S. Transportation Department recommend running against the traffic. According to one study conducted in Finland, pedestrians walking against traffic have on average a 77% lower risk of being struck and injured by a car.

So, while we might have to patiently await the answers to many of our questions, at least we have some closure: In America, we drive on the right side of the road; therefore, the “right” side of the road to run on, well, it’s the left side, the side that puts us against oncoming traffic.

Check out our COVID-19 safety page to learn more about the measures 6AM Health is planning on taking as we begin to transition back into public life and the workplace. As a team, we have learned a lot about how to prevent the spread of COVID-19, allowing us to continue providing healthy food in a safe, convenient, and accessible manner. The road ahead of us might be long and unpredictable, but above all else, we can assure you that we will be there running alongside you, on the right side of the road. Or, wait, is it the left? ;)

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