By Mike Max

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MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Just because we take another step towards social distancing doesn’t mean we should stop stepping.

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Carrie Tollefson grew up in Minnesota and ran her way to the Olympics. She still works in the industry as a broadcaster and speaker.

WCCO caught up with her to talk about the postponement of the games, and what you can do to stay healthy in a new normal.

Tollefson understands what it means to have the Olympics postponed, because she was an Olympian, and having resolution is a win by itself.

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“I think that it actually lifts a little bit of the stress off of [athletes]. You know, they wanted to know what was happening. Everyone wants to know what’s next. And this is a big decision that had to be made. And from what I’m seeing and what I’m hearing, they’re OK with it, obviously,” Tollefson said. “Everyone wants to stay healthy, everyone wants to train hard, and when you’re at that level training that hard, you’re susceptible to getting sick. And when you’re training that hard, it’s hard sometimes. So I think overall, everyone is happy that the decision has been made. Sad that we have to wait whatever we have to wait, up to a year.”

But this running thing isn’t just for the Olympics or competition. Right now, there are no gyms or health clubs open, but there is wide-open space, and there is opportunity.

“Just getting out there, putting one foot in front of the other. Taking it easy, you know. At first, we don’t want to go gangbusters like I always say. You don’t want to go from zero to 60, especially when it comes to running,” she said. “If you are someone that likes to run but hasn’t done it in a while, start walking, then add in walk-jog, and then start jogging and doing some runs. I really recommend getting on some softer surfaces right now. You know, we’re coming from maybe being on treadmills.”

Tollefson and her husband have three young children, so a home shelter can be, like so many, a touch chaotic, which again means you need an outlet — a healthy outlet.

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“Mental health is huge, and that’s one of the big reasons why I go every day,” Tollefson said. “Even my husband Charlie will say, ‘You run yet today?’ if I’m a little cranky [laughs]! So I think that, you know, a lot of big booms, running booms have happened after times like this, and I really think that this is a good time for people to go and enjoy the sport, or go and enjoy a walk. It doesn’t have to be a run, but get outside.”

Mike Max