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'There are risk-free ways for athletes to get fit'

PSL head of medical Dr Lervasen Pillay.
PSL head of medical Dr Lervasen Pillay.

Although people are allowed to exercise in public, athletes have been warned not to expose themselves to the Covid-19 pandemic.

With the lockdown having been downgraded to level 4, a few players have already taken advantage of jogging outside.

Physician Dr Lervasen Pillay said as long as the players are complying with the regulations they won't be exposed to the danger when they jog.

"It doesn't mean that if they are professional footballers and athletes, they are more special than the next person," Pillay said.

"If you can get the right mask then it won't be a problem. You will see some of the runners, they wear those masks.

"What needs to happen is people who are participating in these activities need to see what works for them."

Pillay also added that athletes have to wear a mask only if they are not doing high-intensity training.

"Most of the time if you see the guys running around they will have a mask or scarf or something over their mouth early in the morning.

It will only have a negative effect if you are doing very high-intensity kind of speed-running and that kind of stuff," Pillay continued.

"But for a moderate-intensity jog, it is not going to affect you significantly. If you look at the way people are running at the moment everyone is doing moderate-intensity stuff."

Pillay also has some advice for joggers on what kind of mask they can use.

"You want to have two functions out of the mask. Number one, that it must protect you from the virus.

"Number two, it must be breathable. You can't have something which is a very thick material.

"There are a lot of running masks that are out there in the market," Pillay said.

"So whenever people are buying them, make sure if you run you [are able] to breathe properly. Also, when you are running you must avoid running like how people run, behind each other.

"There must be a minimum of six metres between you and the next runner."

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