Written by: Samantha Higgins
Going outside is critical to your mental health and your overall well-being. In this time of social distancing, quarantine and isolation related to the COVID-19 pandemic, you might be wondering what you can do outside of your home or apartment. Even as cities and states reopen retail and public facilities, you might want some activities to do that will minimize your risk of getting sick. Here are six things you can do outside without increasing your risk of getting COVID-19.
Fishing is a relaxing way to get outside even during quarantine. You may need to get a fishing license, which is easy to obtain at many stores and camping supply shops. If you choose to fish from a dock or the edge of a lake, be sure to stay at least six feet away from anyone else who is fishing and who does not live with you. Whether you catch and release or bring home a great walleye to grill for dinner, you can enjoy nature and sport at the same time.
Hiking is great aerobic exercise. It is also a nice way to escape from the confines of your home and enjoy some new scenery. If you are new to hiking, choose an easy trail. Wear a comfortable and supportive pair of boots or shoes. Consider the area, and wear socks and long pants for protection against ticks. Be aware that some trails may be closed by local authorities. This may be due to the trail not being wide enough to maintain social distancing or to keep different parties safe at scenic lookouts, explains Popular Science. Bring sunscreen, sunglasses and a water bottle. Give your itinerary to another person via text or email, and check in after you return to your vehicle.
Bicycling is also great exercise. You do not have to have a destination in mind. Many areas have biking paths or bike lanes for safer bicycling. Be sure to wear your helmet and light, reflective colors of clothing. A family bicycle ride is a good way to get everyone outdoors. You could even bike to a favorite place, such as an ice cream shop, and get a cone to go. Be sure to bring along your face covering if you think you will be purchasing any snacks or drinks while on a bike ride during the quarantine.
Boating, Rafting, Kayaking or Canoeing
If you need a little more excitement this summer, you could go white water rafting in California. If you are new to this type of water sport, you may want to start with something slower, such as canoeing or a rowboat. Make sure to only accompany other members of your household if the watercraft will not allow you to maintain social distancing guidelines. If you prefer a solo water excursion, kayaking or canoeing are also good choices.
In the days of and after World War II, many people started to grow “victory” gardens. You could grow your own garden. Even if you have two brown thumbs, you could try growing tomatoes or catnip in a pot. If you have a backyard, you could set up a simple trellis with garden stakes and chicken wire for growing snap peas, pole beans or cucumbers. Some other easy plants to grow include squash, zucchini and salad greens. If you plant a garden early enough, you may be able to harvest greens a couple of times. You could also try an herb or flower garden.
Nature Walks and Birding
Sometimes, you just want to get outside for some fresh air. You could go to a local or metro park, lake or pond and take a nature walk. Look for native flowers, butterflies and amphibians. Bring your binoculars, and see if you can spot different birds or birds’ nests.
While COVID-19 is still circulating, you will need to continue taking precautions in order to protect yourself and your loved ones. However, this does not mean that you must spend every minute of each day in your home or apartment. Whether you work from home, are retired or on furlough, you can still enjoy all of these stimulating outside activities to refresh your body and your mind.