Safe Socially-Distant Outdoor Activities
The world has all but turned upside-down this year, thanks to Covid-19. To slow the spread of the virus, public health officials have urged us to "social distance,"; keeping 6 feet away from people outside of your immediate family. As a result, many of the activities that we enjoyed BC (before COVID) have been put on hold or look a lot different. You wouldn't be honest if you said that the "new normal" wasn't driving you a little batty; after all, there's only so long you can stay locked up indoors with the same small group of people before you start to feel like you're going a little nuts.
Luckily, spending time outdoors is really good for you; in fact, it's recommended. Breathing in fresh air, soaking up some sunshine (and the vitamin D it helps your body produce), and physically moving are all excellent for your health. Plus, being outdoors is proven beneficial for your mental health; in particular, it decreases stress and anxiety – two feelings that pretty much everyone is experiencing during the pandemic.
If you're itching to get outside, but you want to be sure that you're still keeping a safe distance from others, here's a look at some "socially distant-friendly" outdoor activities that you can enjoy. Pick one new thing to do each week, or a new place to go explore, and you'll feel the stress and anxiety start to melt away.
Go for a Hike
Hikes were made for social distancing, so go ahead and hit the trails! Hikers enjoy all that being in nature offers; the fresh air and sunshine, beautiful sights and sounds, and the boost to your physical and mental health. Just be advised: pick your trail wisely. Be sure to choose a time or route that's less likely to be packed with fellow hikers who are also looking for the chance to get outside. If your area requires a mask, be sure to bring that along, too. You'll also want to wear comfortable footwear and appropriate attire, as well as have water handy.
You may not want to use shared water fountains, so pack enough water for your hike and have some in the car for your return as well.
Hit the Beach
A word of caution, however, make sure that it isn't packed. As long as the beach you choose isn't teeming with people, you should have no trouble hitting the sand and surf without getting up-close and personal with others. Try weekdays instead of weekends, and avoid holidays. Wear a mask until you find your little spot in the sand while you're walking passed other groups.
Have a Backyard Campout
If campgrounds in your area are temporarily closed, consider pitching a tent in your backyard! This outdoor activity is particularly great for little ones, as it breaks up the monotony of their routine and adds another dimension of fun to the yard that they have probably spend a lot more time in lately.
Go for a Bike Ride
Dust off your old bicycle and helmet and go for a ride! You'll have no trouble dodging around others, so keeping a safe distance should not be an issue; and of course, cycling is a fun way to get in some much-needed and crucial exercise.
- Memphis, TN.