Outdoor Activities (while maintaining social distancing) – Part I
Quarantining at home for weeks straight can definitely take a toll on your mental and physical health. Going outdoors for a walk, bike, or run to experience nature can be a really good way to keep your spirits up, but is it safe? Currently, infectious disease specialists say that it’s fine to go out for a walk, with some caveats.
How to stay safe while participating in outdoor activities:
- Travel alone or in a pair
- Only travel with members of your household
- Don’t travel to crowded parks, boardwalks, trails or beaches
- Stay 6 feet away from others
- Don’t use playgrounds or other high-touch outdoor facilities
- Wash your hands after coming back indoors
- Avoid touching your face
- Plan in advance so you don’t need to use public transport or taxi apps to get back home
- Don’t go out if you’re experiencing any symptoms or if you’ve traveled within 14 days
- Follow current local guidelines on what is acceptable
If you’re new to running, hiking or biking outdoors, you may want to consider using an app like Strava, Nike Run Club or AllTrails.
At its core, Strava keeps track of your distance, pace, and route. You can share your runs, rides, or hikes with your friends and also earn badges for reaching certain achievements. If you pay for the premium version, you can also find routes near you that may be worth checking out. There is even a virtual running club called run against COVID-19 with over 30,000 runners involved!
The Nike Run Club app is similar to Strava. In my opinion, it’s aesthetically more appealing but doesn’t have as any many functions. Nike Run Club has challenges you can join and also has audio-guided runs to keep you company while social distancing outdoors.
Find trails near you that you might not know about! Distance, elevation, and difficulty are reported for each trail so that you can plan accordingly. Make sure to be prepared to change plans if you find the trails are crowded.
Written in collaboration with Kelvin Ng