The arrival of spring signals the end of a long, hard winter; the return of warmer weather and one whole year since the spread of COVID-19 began to impact the lives of billions of people. While we may not yet be able to enjoy spring in the same way that we did in years past, people of all ages can still go outside to enjoy the longer daylight hours and the promise of warmer weather to come. Safe outdoor activities during the coronavirus pandemic are those that allow for social distancing and won’t lead you to defy any local or regional pandemic regulations. Some public outdoor spaces may still be closed, so you may not be able to play pickup basketball, have a barbecue with your friends in a state park, or even take your kids to a public playground.
However, this doesn’t mean that you have to stay cooped up indoors. Spending time outside and in nature can help give you a much-needed mental reset as well as giving you physical exercise. Need a few ideas? Take a look at the list of safe outdoor activities below and keep these activities in mind for the next sunny day… or any day, really! (Please remember, if you choose to go to a place where you may come into contact with people from outside your household, continue to social distance and wear a face mask.)
1. Walk in nature
When you need a change of scenery but not in the mood for a more intense workout, going for a walk is a great outdoor activity and a way to get your blood circulating and to get some fresh air into your lungs. And while you’re out and about, make sure to notice the signs of spring. Which spring flowers do you see? Are the trees in bud or growing new leaves? Can you see baby birds or the return of insects? Do you see other animals emerging from their winter hibernation?
2. Tie those laces up and go for a run
Going jogging or running is a great activity if you want to get out of the house and get in a cardiovascular workout at the same time. Just don’t forget to be courteous to others while you’re outside. Be sure to maintain your distance from people you might encounter and carry tissues with you so that you don’t spread any germs. Dispose of any used tissues responsibly.
3. Ride your bike – or teach a child to
Whether you’re cycling hard or going on an easy ride, maintain proper social distancing while you’re riding. Cycling is a fun activity for the whole family, and young children feel a real sense of accomplishment when they learn how to ride a bike without training wheels. It takes a bit of practice and a few false starts, but once your child has mastered the art of bike riding, they won’t want to stop!
4. Go birdwatching
If you’re lucky enough to live somewhere rural or within easy traveling distance of an open natural beauty spot, bird watching could be just the activity for you. Guides for birdwatchers are readily available, and springtime is a good time to spot birds’ eggs and nests. How many types of birds can you spot?
5. Feed ducks at a local pond
Make sure that there are no local ordinances prohibiting feeding ducks before you take part in this activity. Believe it or not, bread is not the best food for ducks because of its low nutritional value, so try birdseed, oats, rice, or vegetable scraps instead.
Other outdoor activities you can safely participate in include rollerblading, fishing, horseback riding, swimming, and camping. Whichever activity you choose to do, it will help you escape the monotony of everyday life and can help to strengthen relationships between family members. By reducing stress and tension, strengthening family bonds, and bringing a sense of accomplishment, outdoor activities help to improve our overall health. If you’re not used to enjoying time outdoors, start off by purposefully turning off the television, avoid looking at your phone, and go for a short walk. There’s an entire world out there to be enjoyed beyond staring at the same four walls.
Stay safe as always!