There’s no denying that the Coronavirus (COVID-19) has put a stop to worldwide travels and almost all outdoor activities in general. With increased home quarantines and social distancing measures, cancelling outdoor adventures has become the new norm. This may leave you bored, anxious, and searching for ways to stay fit. That’s why we’ve put together this guide with ways to stay sane and active during the pandemic.
BENEFITS OF STAYING ACTIVE & GETTING OUTDOORS DURING A QUARANTINE PERIOD
Boredom is not the worst thing about being stuck indoors. Staying indoors for an extended period can cause lethargy, restlessness, disrupted eating habits, fatigue, and moodiness. Spending all of your time indoors can even cause a weakened immune system – something we all definitely want to avoid during this crazy time.
Physical activity is also very important for both your body and your mind. Studies show that staying active will help you manage your weight, lower blood pressure, strengthen bones and muscles, and recover from illness faster. Exercise is also a proven mood booster, reducing depression and anxiety, decreasing stress, and improving sleep and brain function. All things that we could all use a bit more of at this present moment! Lastly, breathing in the fresh air of the outdoors and receiving a healthy dose of Vitamin D from sun exposure can help strengthen our immune system.
But how can you enjoy getting outdoors safely while on quarantine or social distancing?
WAYS TO STAY ACTIVE & GET OUTDOORS WITHOUT LEAVING YOUR HOUSE
Since we are homebound for the foreseeable future, we have to get creative around spending time outdoors and ways to stay active during coronavirus. The good news is that there are more resources than ever before, as gyms, studios and workouts are being added online constantly to keep up with the online demand. Even better news: many of them are free!
Work out in the yard
No need to worry about going to a gym – they are mostly closed now anyway. Your yard is waiting. Hanging out in your yard will help you get that fresh air, sun and outdoor exposure necessary for your immune system. Working out in the yard will help you emerge from the quarantine with those abs you’ve always wanted.
Avoid extreme activities
These confusing days shall pass and you’ll have all the time in the world to begin a new activity or practice your favorite extreme sport if you so desire. However right now you wouldn’t want to risk hurting yourself and having to make a trip to the hospital. Hospitals are the worst place to be right now to stay healthy, and avoiding them at all costs will help limit the spread of COVID-19.
Opting for more simple, safer activities and ways to stay active is also a great way to help ease the problems of an already overwhelmed hospital. It’s the responsibility of everyone to avoid taxing medical facilities any further.
Create a workout challenge with friends and family
Feeling bored or unmotivated with your fitness routine at home? Kickstart your motivation by creating a burpee, jump rope or squat challenge online with friends or family. Match or beat each others’ daily activities to keep your body fit and the fun going. Practicing a new behavior every day will also help you develop better habits.
Using a tracking device (like your FitBit or apps like Strava) can help you measure progress and report in to other participants easily. Don’t forget to celebrate your success in completing the challenge with a virtual high-five, and a plan to celebrate in-person once we are past this!
Take your pet for a walk
Pets need outdoor exposure as much as humans do. Just like their owners, pets can be quite irritable when not allowed to stretch their legs outdoors. Follow our guidelines below for leaving the house first, and check on your local government’s quarantine rules. If it’s allowed, take your pet for a quick walk around the block. It will not make your pet mentally and socially healthier, it’ll help you burn some calories, too!
Make sure to follow precautions though. Wear a face mask and gloves, and get rid of any disposable gear as soon as your walk ends for added safety. Have a bottle of hand sanitizer next to the door to rub down before you come indoors, and change your clothes and shower as soon as possible, especially if you have others living in the house with you. Allow the recommended 6-feet of distance between you and other people you may encounter, and under no circumstances should you leave the house if you’re feeling unwell.
Camp at home in the backyard
Are your kids getting antsy indoors? Missing that camping trip you had planned? One great way to bring the outdoors to them is to take a camping trip to the back yard! You may not get the full experience, but you can still make it a memory of a lifetime. Pack up everything you need to spend the night (or weekend!) outdoors, set up tents, hammocks, camp chairs and a fire (if it’s allowed in your neighborhood), tell stories, and sleep under the stars.
One day you’ll tell the story about the time you camped in the back yard because you were under lockdown.
It’s also a great way to teach kids about flexibility, acceptance, and making the best of disappointing situations.
Challenge your brain and stay sane through meditation
New to meditation? Resources abound for beginners to meditation. Reet from tripoutside.com started his practice using Headspace, which has a 10-day free trial, and hundreds of guided meditations through their monthly paid plans. Insight Timer features practically endless guided options by experienced mindfulness teachers, plus sound healing, talks and music.
Sustain your body & mind through Yoga
Practicing yoga is a great way to stay active during the corona virus quarantine. Whether you are a beginner looking to learn, or a seasoned yogi, here are some online resources for your yoga practice. All you need is a yoga mat!
Learn a new skill
Have you always wanted to learn a new language? Become more competent at maintaining your own bike or outdoor equipment? Master a new instrument? Now is the time!
Apps like Rosetta Stone and Duolingo offer easy ways to learn or re-learn a language and challenge your brain during this quiet time. And in case you have been living under a rock, YouTube is the king of 101 EVERYTHING. Learn to maintain or rebuild your bike and save some money in the process! Or dust off that old guitar and learn (or re-learn) to play! There are endless things to learn from others on YouTube. It will keep your boredom at bay, and challenge your brain in the process.
Need inspiration for new skills you’d like to learn? Udemy has over 100,000 online courses with expert instruction on topics like business, design, photography, marketing and personal development.
Beautify your garden
Gardening is not only a great way to stay moving and keep your mind occupied, but a vegetable garden can help care for your food needs as well while you are in isolation! Gardening is another great way to get vitamin D, boost your mood, lower the risk of dementia, and combat loneliness!
Spring is the perfect time to start digging out those weeds and prepping for a beautiful flower or vegetable garden that extends all summer long. How can you get started? Add seeds to your next grocery list (even better have them delivered!) and allocate a section of your yard to your new garden.
Stay connected with family and friends
Just because you are stuck indoors doesn’t mean you have to be a hermit. Take time to connect with family and friends over FaceTime, WhatsApp, Messenger, Skype or simple phone calls. Staying connected with the outside world is important right now, and talking to others helps combat depression and loneliness. This is especially important for those over 70 who are isolated. Check in with grandparents and other elderly friends and family at least every other day.
In collaboration with Julie and Reet from tripoutside.com. Julie and her partner lead an active live spending their days mountain biking, hiking, paddleboarding, kayaking, snowboarding or rock scrambling. Needless to say, their lifestyle and company revolve around recreating in the outdoors.