A woman runs through the empty streets in Washington, DC, on April 18.

Running is enjoying a boom because of the coronavirus pandemic

Updated 0953 GMT (1753 HKT) April 25, 2020

(CNN)Gyms are closed. Spin classes and boot camps are canceled. Worst of all, you're stuck at home for most of the day.

As people look for an outlet to exercise and escape the confines of self-isolation at home, running has seen a boom during the coronavirus pandemic.
"Right now, when the sun comes out, every path, park and neighborhood is crowded with runners," Brooklyn Track Club Women's Performance Team running coach Kate Gustafson told CNN. "I live in Brooklyn Heights and I've never seen so many people out running through Brooklyn Bridge Park at all hours of the day."
While Gustafson notes that New York City has long been a "running city," there has been a noticeable uptick in people running outside.
"Now I see that there are more people out running and cycling than doing anything else outdoors," Jessica Zapotechne, a performance running coach for adidas in NYC, tells CNN.
"It feels very hopeful when there is a lot of fear and anxiety going on, to see people getting out and moving their bodies."
However, even running is not immune to the changes that this pandemic has brought on. Running groups are no longer meeting, purposeful training is put on hold and races all over the world have been canceled.
"It's full of mixed emotions," Gustafson said of running in NYC right now. "The city is quiet and you can move more freely from one neighborhood to the next, but it feels empty and lacks the energy you come to expect from living in New York City."
With states, including New York and California mandating shelter-in-place orders, running is one of the few physical activities you can safely practice while getting some fresh air outside. All you need is a pair of shoes and you can easily get your sweat on.
So, where do you start? By getting outside and taking that first step.

Getting started

"Start today, start small and don't worry too much about the numbers/metrics right now," Zapotechne said.
"Try a combination of running and walking to start. Consider that one mile is a huge success, especially done regularly. Consistent effort is the best way to start as you will build results in a healthy manner, versus heroic efforts by trying to run too far, too fast, too soon."
Running tips during the pandemic

• Run solo.

• Practice safe social distancing and avoid crowded areas.

• Run against traffic, as it's easy to see incoming vehicles and for you to be able to react to them.

• Don't overexert yourself, and make sure you properly rest and recover.

• Make sure to stay hydrated.

• Put a strength training program into place.

• Add some structure such as a hill workout or tempo run to keep you focused.

If you haven't laced up your running shoes in a while, don't expect to be running the length of a marathon anytime soon. It takes time to build up the strength and stamina to go long distances, so don't be down on yourself if you're having difficulty running a mile or more.