Because of the pandemic, people like you who have an active lifestyle had to change their daily routines, including their exercise and sports habits. Unfortunately, sports activities had to stop as sporting events were suspended, gyms and fitness centers were closed, and outdoor activities were strictly restricted. But did you know this unexpected situation could negatively affect your physical and mental health?
Yes, it’s challenging to stay safe and healthy nowadays. You have to keep yourself active while following safe distancing and other health protocols. It seems fine to choose a sedentary lifestyle, considering it does not affect the immune system. Still, it is best to practice an active lifestyle to counteract the effects of the pandemic on your physical and mental health. There are limitations, though.
According to the National Institutes of Health (NIH), you can exercise in moderation to reduce the risk of illness and improve your immune system. What you need to avoid are high-intensity exercises and over-training. Apparently, these two can cause dysfunction of your immune system. If that happens, you’ll be at greater risk of illness, especially upper respiratory tract infections. The NIH further suggested against intense sports such as triathlons, football, soccer, and other high-intensity activities.
But there is some good news. Certain sports can still be played, especially if done outdoors where there is increased ventilation. In fact, many people have already found innovative ways to take exercise, play sports, and be active. Now, if you’re wondering what sports you can play or activities you can do with social distancing, this article can help.
Hiking or Walking
Seeing the outdoors while you’re hiking is good for your health. Nature and fresh air can help you relax. But not only that, physically seeing other people walking or strolling can help you feel less stressed.
However, it’s important to remember that you should still follow the same indoor social distancing rules while hiking. To make your hike enjoyable while practicing safe distancing, create a plan before you venture out.
Stay local to limit travel. Visit parks within your county or anywhere near where you live. Know what times hiking trails tend to get crowded and which ones are used mainly by hikers. Bring enough snacks and water to avoid stopping at stores. Avoid using public restrooms.
When you’re on a hiking trail and if you’re with family, you can stay in proximity with each other. When there are other people, however, maintain a safe distance from them. Avoid physical contact, especially if you’re not vaccinated. Besides, you don’t know either if the person you’ll talk to is vaccinated or not.
If you decide to visit a national park, make sure to avoid touching your surfaces, such as trail maps and benches. Bring a sanitizer and extra masks.
Golf may not be as strenuous as hiking, but it is a safe sport to play. In fact, many are saying that it is the sport of choice during the pandemic.
You can play golf alone or with someone from your family. If you do play it with others apart from members of your household, make sure to maintain safe distancing. To avoid touchpoints, remove flagsticks and bunker rakes, and use your own clubs. Bring a sanitizer with you. Make sure to sanitize the cart seat and the drive wheel before you use a cart.
Running or Jogging
Running for miles or going for a quick jog around your block can be good for your health. But, you have to be careful. Choose routes that have low traffic. Avoid busy roads and keep a safe distance from other runners. It would also be best to avoid touching surfaces like crosswalk buttons or benches.
Surf fishing is an excellent activity if you love to go saltwater fishing. Going fishing in the sea can be labor-intensive. You’ll have to take a boat. But with surf fishing, you only get to stay on the shoreline to cast your line. You can wade in the surf or dip yourself in the shallows if you want, too.
Surf fishing is also safe. You can stand alone on the shoreline to fish or maintain physical distance from other fishers. Just make sure to use a sturdy, reliable fishing rod. Specialized fishing tackle like Black Hole rods is durable and light, making it easier for beginners to cast and strike.
Paddling, Rowing, or Sailing
Water sports such as paddling, rowing, and sailing are great activities you can partake in today. They can be done alone, away from other people, and they can make you active, too. Depending on which of the three you’ll take, you’ll need a paddleboard, a paddle, a rowing boat, or a sailing boat.
Don’t Forget to Enjoy
You’ve heard it a hundred times, follow health protocols and safe distancing when doing activities or sports outdoors. However, don’t forget to enjoy yourself when you’re doing any of these activities.