Staying physically active is one of the best ways to keep your body and mind resilient. But working out at a gym or visiting a yoga studio may not be in the cards this summer to help reduce the spread of COVID-19.
Open spaces are likely the best and safest option right now.
In many areas across the country, people can visit parks, trails and open spaces to stay active. And there’s an added mental health boost to be in places where Mother Nature is on display, like parks, nature trails, beaches and gardens. This is also a safe way to connect with friends and family outside your household.
Be Prepared to Be Safe
Follow some simple steps and practice social distancing to help protect you and others from COVID-19:
- Visit parks that are close to home: Traveling long distances may require you to stop along the way and be in close contact with others, such as rest stops or gas stations, or with surfaces contaminated with the coronavirus.
- Prepare before you visit: Make sure the park or outdoor recreation facility is open and whether the visitor centers, concessions, and bathroom facilities are also open. Check with your local health department and community or state leaders for the latest guidance on social distancing and staying safe.
- Stay at least six feet apart from others: If that’s not possible due to over-crowding, choose a different outdoor location to visit that day.
- Wash hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds: Do this after using the bathroom, before and after eating, and after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing.
- Consider wearing a face covering: Some recreational areas, along with local and state social distancing guidance, may require or strongly advise wearing one. It should cover your nose and mouth securely.
There are still lots of outdoor physical activities to enjoy this summer. The key is to follow social distancing guidelines while doing them:
- Swimming (at uncrowded beaches)
- Paddling canoes and kayaks
- Roller blading
- Practicing yoga and tai chi in the park
- Tennis or badminton
- Lawn bowling or lawn croquet
What about playgrounds, swimming pools, water playgrounds and water parks?
Check with local facilities about the safety of visiting these places this summer. They may be too crowded and challenging to keep surfaces clean and disinfected.
The bottom line:
It’s important that we all do our part to slow the spread of COVID-19 to protect ourselves, our family and friends, and the community we live in. And if you are feeling sick, always stay home and call your doctor for the best way to treat your symptoms.