During the past few months, the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic has quickly rerouted many people’s lives in unexpected ways. Months ago, nearly all non-essential businesses were closed for the foreseeable future; however, as some state governments begin allowing the reopening of many of these businesses, cases of COVID-19 will inevitably increase.
Businesses of particular concern are community gyms and fitness clubs, which are beginning to reopen their doors; the concern is largely due to the amount of physical contact, viral transmission, and social interaction that is involved.
While the quarantine has made many individuals create their own home gyms, people are developing cabin fever. So, what is the best way to re-immerse yourself in society again without compromising your health and the social well-being of others at the same time?
While it may be extremely tempting to re-sign your contract at your local fitness center, don’t do it. This would be a perfect breeding ground for the coronavirus because of the number of individuals and touched surfaces. Here are some of the safest and most effective ways of remaining active during reopening (while still being able to leave the home) amid the ongoing coronavirus pandemic:
Make all movement count
Remember all activity requires energy expenditure from your body. Adding resistance to any type of activity will increase the number of calories you burn. Instead of taking the elevator, try taking the stairs — it’s also an easier way to social distance from others in a confined space.
Channel into your childhood
Do you know the last time you rode that bike you bought? Try and get back into outdoor activities, specifically ones that you used to do as a child. A landmark study found that jumping rope 10 minutes daily was equivalent to running 30 minutes a day.
Take the road less traveled — in your area or on a road trip (with a mask, of course)
Research new places and areas you have not explored and look for new sights. There are many benefits of a change of scenery or perspective. Studies have found that it can change old triggers of negative thoughts and improve overall mental health. Try looking into areas with new construction. It is not recommended to visit non-essential businesses; however, if you decide to, please be safe for yourself and others.
Still putting off the garden or landscaping you said you were going to do months ago? Now is a great time for a low-intensity activity that will improve the aesthetics of your residence. If you want to add more intensity, make a workout of it using heavier items, such as bags of mulch, shoveling, etc. A study has found that gardening for only 4 hours a week can lower the risk of dementia by up to 56%, along with many other positive health outcomes.
This is a great activity if you love scavenger hunts and exploring new areas. It is also a great way to include daily cardio because of the amount of walking required! This is an outdoor activity that makes you feel like you are a part of something bigger. Geocaching is where a user inputs specific coordinates into a GPS and has to find the treasure, or geocache, at that location. This is also a great way to throw in some competition with others while still following social distancing guidelines. Be sure to check your local laws about trespassing before going on your hunt.
Please remember, as restaurants, stores, and bars begin to open, COVID-19 is not over; individuals may still be asymptomatic and can transmit the virus to others. Always wear a mask, and remember to stay smart and six feet apart.