8 Outdoor Activities to Stay Active During the Coronavirus Pandemic
Do you need some inspiration? Take a look at the Guides4Homeowners list below and remember these safe outdoor activities for the next sunny day (or any day, for that matter—we’re not picky!). Remember to wear a mask if you reside in an area where you will come into touch with people outside your family. Even if you appear to be in good condition, you might be an asymptomatic carrier, and wearing a mask can help prevent the disease from spreading. (Don’t have one? Get one.) There are still a few possibilities accessible.)
1. Take a walk in the woods.
Going for a stroll will come in handy when you need a change of environment but don’t feel like doing a more rigorous workout. It will not only get you out of the home, but it will also help you de-stress if you chose your location intelligently.
Michelle Smith Walker, a SELF reader, writes, “Taking regular walks around the lake and admiring the landscape soothes me.”
Research backs her up, and it might be an especially useful tactic now, when our daily lives are already quite stressful. People with chronic life stress who spent 40 minutes walking outside in nature experienced greater decreases in the stress hormone cortisol than those who walked on a treadmill or watched nature programming on TV for the same amount of time, according to a study published in Environment and Behavior in 2020. They also noticed an improvement in their mood subsequently.
2. Take a “camping” trip in your own garden.
Traditional camping is on hold as a result of the closure of several campsites. However, you may create a similar atmosphere in your own backyard (if you have one). Setting up a picnic, building a tent or fort, or gathering around a fireplace are all possibilities.
Rachel Wieser Haggerton, a SELF reader, describes her family’s campfire as their oasis—something that makes them feel like they’re on vacation even when one isn’t planned.
“We have four of us in our home, and when we need a peaceful area to go away solitary or to sit as a family and just chill,” she adds, “we gather around the fire and speak about our day, about movies, or about some humorous occurrence, and create s’mores and pretend to be camping.”
3. Put on your running shoes and go for a run.
Running is a terrific choice if you want to get out of the house and get in a cardio exercise at the same time, as long as you can manage distance.
“I’m not a big runner, but I’ve started jogging more recently simply to be outside,” says Dane Miklaus, C.S.C.S., CEO and owner of Work training studio in Irvine, California. “Just focusing on your breathing is really meditative.”
Just remember to be nice to others when you’re outside. If you notice individuals in front of you, cross the street rather than passing them, wear a mask if there’s even a chance you’ll see others, and keep tissues handy in case you need to blow your nose (snot rocketing is a no-no right now, obviously). As previously reported by SELF, you may also use an over-the-counter nasal spray to cleanse your sinuses ahead of time to reduce the likelihood of having to blow your nose during the run.
You could also want to consider running at off-peak hours, such as early morning or late evening, when less people are on the streets, which can be especially beneficial if you live in a congested city or town. (These items can help you stay visible if you’re jogging in the dark.)
4. Take a walk around your town.
You undoubtedly have a certain route defined down to the minute when you’re in a hurry—say, to get to the train station or to finish a workout in a certain amount of time. As a consequence, you may be missing out on some of your city’s or town’s most intriguing (and nearby!) attractions.
That’s why, on her daily walks, SELF executive editor Casey Gueren has made it a point to take some less-traveled paths.
“I basically play Frogger,” she explains, “where I simply walk somewhere that looks intriguing and doesn’t have a person in the way.” “Because I usually kept to the parks immediately in front of my apartment—which are too busy most weekend days for me to feel comfortable wandering around there—I’ve ended up seeing some lovely, intriguing sections of my neighborhood that I never would have seen otherwise.”
Lisa Brown, SELF’s production assistant, uses a similar strategy when she needs to run errands like going to the grocery store.
“It really enhances my attitude, especially because I’m always indoors,” she adds, “and it turns tiresome errands into fun ones.” “And all of the side streets feature the most beautiful residences and architecture, making for a relaxing stroll.”
5. Take a few pictures.
Frances Dumlao, SELF’s social media manager, takes use of her free time by bringing her camera and searching for lovely flowers.
“I live in a metropolis, and I seldom see greens for the majority of the year. The city, on the other hand, is ablaze with tulips, daffodils, magnolias, and cherry blossoms in the spring,” she continues. “It’s a nice reminder for me to’smell the flowers,’ that even at this strange time, there are still simple things to be grateful for.” I often post my flower images on social media so that others might enjoy them as well.”
6. Plant a garden.
Gardening can be really calming, and as a bonus, you may end up with some delicious—and free—fruits, veggies, or herbs as a result of your efforts.
Melissa Alfano, a SELF reader, finds vegetable gardening to be one of her family’s favorite outdoor pastimes.
“This is pleasant, relaxing, and educational because we’re educating our preschooler about flora,” she explains.
7. Construct your own gym.
You can surely conduct your equipment-free exercises in the fresh air if you have some outside space. Making your outdoor structure work for you is one of my favorite ways to work out outside.
I, for example, take a huge, looped resistance band outdoors and tie it to my steel fire escape. (A robust anchor point, such as a pole or a large tree limb, would also suffice.) You can execute workouts like lat pull-downs and rows depending on the angle—moves I’m a little hesitant to undertake inside with my ancient, wooden, not-so-secure door frames.
I also utilize the open stairs for bodyweight exercises. They’re the correct height (and solid enough) for pull-ups, and they elevate your hands or feet off the ground to make push-ups easier or tougher. I’ve integrated these moves into a 15-minute upper-body circuit (pull-ups, push-ups, pull-downs, and rows) that matches a heavy-weight gym workout.
8. Go on a bike ride.
Miklaus has been going on more rides recently in order to go outside more.
Whether you’re going for a vigorous ride or a leisurely stroll, remember that the same regulations that apply to running apply to cycling: wear a mask and keep correct social distance when riding.