There’s no denying that the Coronavirus (COVID-19) has put a stop to almost all outdoor activities. 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. We feel ya! That’s why the team and I at TripOutside.com put together this guide with ways to stay sane and active during the pandemic.
So, to help you cope (and perhaps even flourish!) during this time, we want to share our top tips for keeping our sanity and what we are doing to stay active during corona virus.
Why stay active during quarantine?
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?
1. Work out in your backyard
No need to worry about going to a gym – they are mostly closed now anyway. Your backyard is waiting. Hanging out in your backyard will help you get that fresh air, sun and outdoor exposure necessary for your immune system. Working out in the backyard will help you emerge from the quarantine with those abs you’ve always wanted.
Here are some top gyms, yoga studios and other resources that are offering FREE online workouts*!
Or, create your own workout with lunges, squats, burpees or your other favorite routines.
2. Sustain your body and mind with 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!
3. 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 favourite 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. France has even banned recreational cycling because of limited healthcare resources and the risk of injuries.
4. Create a workout challenge with friends
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 other’s daily activities to keep your body fit and the fun going. Practicing a new behaviour 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!
5. 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 if required, 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.
6. 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. Here is a list of things you can grow quickly during your quarantine!
7. Camp at home in the back yard
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 neighbourhood), 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.
New to meditation? Resources abound for beginners to meditation. Reet started his practice using Headspace, which has a 10-day free trial, and hundreds of guided meditations through their monthly paid plans. A free favorite of mine is Insight Timer, which features practically endless guided options by experienced mindfulness teachers, plus sound healing, talks and music.
If there’s one thing we all need right now, it’s patience. One of the best ways I’ve found to practice patience is meditation. A saying that I take comfort in is: “This too shall pass”.
9. 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!
I am working on learning Hindi while we are quarantined indoors, and Reet is working on increasing his fluency in written Punjabi. 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.
10. 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 or 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.
A quick note:
Before exploring locally, check your local government’s rules
Governments are cracking down when it comes to ensuring that social distancing is followed. Before leaving your house, make sure you’re not going to have a brush with the law by checking your local government’s rules on quarantine and social distancing. Quarantine provisions can be different for every state – outdoor activities can be considered non-essential trips – so it pays to check.
If you decide to go out, preparation is key
Getting outdoors during the Coronavirus pandemic isn’t just different because the streets are deserted. You should take precautions to protect yourself and others from transmission of the virus. CDC guidelines explain how to best protect yourself and others, including washing hands frequently, maintaining appropriate distance from others, and staying home if you are sick.
Staying indoors is an important mandate we ALL need to follow, but there are ways to still give our body the energy and vitality it can get from staying active and getting some fresh air. By following the rules, being extra careful, and getting a little creative, you can stay sane and active amidst this period of social distancing.
*This is a condensed version of the article “10 WAYS TO STAY SANE & ACTIVE WHILE SOCIAL DISTANCING” from TripOutside.com. WatersedgeCounselling is not affiliated with any of the services or links connected to this post. Read the complete article here.
Are you anxious and overwhelmed? Do you want to live a happier, healthier life physically and mentally, even during isolation? Here’s what you need to do: Contact Colleen on 0434 337 245, Duncan on 0434 331 243 or Rachel on 0422 177 193 for a FREE 10 minute consultation on how we can best help you or book online.
Julie Singh co-founded TripOutside with her husband Reet out of a shared enthusiasm for outdoor adventure. TripOutside.com is an easier way to research top outdoor destinations, find adventures and gear from the best local outfitters, and book it all online. Julie and Reet explore full-time in their RV, curating top outdoor destinations and making friends with outfitters and outdoor enthusiasts. You can find her biking or hiking the nearest mountain, advocating for the earth & its animals, and cooking delicious vegan food.
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