It’s been a difficult start to the year for everyone, particularly for those leading the fight against the coronavirus pandemic. Like the rest of the population, athletes and outdoor enthusiasts are struggling with being stuck in their homes for months. Fortunately for people experiencing cabin fever and desperate to go outside, most if not all states will reopen by the end of May. That means some safe outdoor activities during the pandemic will finally be allowed but with certain limitations, of course.
It’s still a good idea to stay at home as much as possible. When you do have to get out, wear a mask and other protective clothing if you have them. Most importantly, maintain a safe distance (at least six feet) between you and the next person. Wash your hands with soap and water when you get the chance. If you can’t, simply spray or splash your hands with alcohol.
There’s been a lot of question regarding the use of face masks while exercising. Generally, it is safe to wear one. In fact, you should wear one whenever you’re outside. However, those who have existing respiratory problems or has difficulty breathing even without a mask should refrain from wearing one while exercising if it is indeed okay for them to do any form of physical activity.
One must remember, though, that any kind of mask will make it more difficult to breath. It lessens the airflow to your lungs, which means less oxygen in your bloodstream and muscles. This makes it harder to exercise.
Avoid overexertion. Even the fittest athlete will get tired faster if he or she wears a mask while training. So don’t get too excited once you’re finally able to do outdoor activities during the coronavirus crisis.
Now that you’re reminded of these must do’s, you can now go enjoy the outside world. But what exactly are the safe outdoor activities during the pandemic? We’ve listed them down for you.
Walking, Jogging, Running
Most people are aching to go for a run or at least walk around the park. This will do wonders for your physical and mental well-being as long as you don’t catch the coronavirus. Luckily, these are some of the safe outdoor activities during the pandemic.
Find a place that’s less travelled. Remember that the fewer the people, the safer it is. In case there are other runners, maintain a safe distance. If possible go beyond the six feet limit.
Avoid touching anything. If you need to rest, avoid sitting on benches or leaning on lamp posts and fences. Shared facilities like public restrooms are definite no-nos. Again, wear a face mask. If you have respiratory issues, skip running outdoors for now.
The Pirates Will Be Pirates Mask, which is available on Redbubble, is a non-medical face mask made of two layers of soft 100% brushed polyester. The World Health organization advised people to wear cloth face masks whenever they are outdoors to help curb the spread of COVID-19. If you already have a surgical mask or N95 respirator, you can use them as well. Otherwise, a cloth face mask will suffice.
Bring your own water bottle so you don’t need to buy bottled water. The Pirates Will Be Pirates Water Bottle is made of lightweight and durable stainless steel bottle. It holds 20 ounces (590ml) of fluid and has a leak proof cap to keep the contents from spilling while you’re running.
Another option is to use a hydration bladder. The Quench Hydration Bladder by Frog & CO fits any backpack so you can take it anywhere you go whether you’re running, hiking or just out to do some errands. The BPA-free water bladder can be hooked up to the Sawyer Mini Water Filter, which will come in handy in case you’re in the wilderness and you run out of clean drinking water.
Yes, vendors will be grateful if you buy something from them but on a health perspective, you should avoid anything touched by other people. If you really have to, at least find a way to wash your hands and disinfect the item before letting them near your face.
Cycling, BMX Biking
The same rules used for running apply to riding bikes. When you go out for a ride, look for the road less travelled, so to say. Avoid busy roads and other routes where cyclists may encounter lots of motorists. Maintain the appropriate and safe distance if there are other people. Bring your own water bottle, too.
Refrain from biking up a mountain or through dangerous trails. For obvious reasons, avoid performing dangerous tricks, especially the death-defying ones. Again medical institutions are busy dealing with the coronavirus and injured you will only get in the way. Plus, you risk getting infected with COVID-19 if you go to the hospital.
Always wear the proper helmet to protect your noggin. The Triple Eight Dual Certified Bike and Skateboard Helmet is made of ABS plastic and has passed the US CPSC and ASTM F-1492 Safety Standards. It also comes with moisture-wicking Sweatsaver Fit Pads that you can remove if you need to.
Skateboarding, Scootering, Roller Skating, and Rollerblading
Skaters will be delighted to know they can finally take their skateboards outside and practice their kickflips and Ollies. The same goes for scooterers with their hops, fakies, and nose pivots. And don’t forget about the roller skaters and their backward and one-foot skating tricks.
On the other hand, those who enjoy these sports or activities are better off doing simple tricks for the time being to avoid accidents. Wear helmets and other protective gear, as well. Don’t be an additional burden to the medical professionals that have to deal with right now.
Triple Eight also makes the Saver Series Pad Set, which includes protection for the knees, elbows, and wrists. The pads are made of plycarbonate full-coverage caps, EVA foam padding, and high quality tough fabrics.
Most local governments have prohibited enjoying these outdoor recreational activities in groups. You can skate, skateboard, or scooter on your own or maybe with at least one other person that you share your home with. Also, avoid extreme tricks or anything that may end with you in the emergency room. Hospitals are not the best place to be in right now.
Most outdoor enthusiasts will be aching to go on a hike or camp out in the wilderness once this pandemic is over. Hopefully, that wouldn’t be too far away. Fortunately, hiking and camping are two of the safe outdoor activities that most states are allowing once the lockdown is lifted.
As always, stay away from crowded hiking trails and camping sites. If you encounter another hiker or camper, keep your distance. Bring trekking poles so you can always keep your balance and avoid holding onto trees and other things that previous hikers might have touched before you.
The TrailBuddy Trekking Poles is made of7075 aluminum, which is tougher than carbon fiber. The lightweight (4 ounces) hiking sticks can withstand a simple hike along a less treacherous path to a hike across rocky terrain.
When you go camping, steer clear of public bathrooms and other high traffic areas. Door handles of public bathrooms are particularly risky. Avoid touching them. If you need to touch the handle, use a piece of tissue paper or anything that can act as a barrier between your hands and the handle. Wash your hands thoroughly after.
A safer option is to not use a public bathroom at all. If you need to go, just dig a hole, do your thing, and then cover the hole with soil. Don’t forget your folding shovel for emergencies such as this. The Digger Folding Shovel with Pick by Frog & CO is made of 50# 42-46 HRC Steel so it’s durable enough to dig through compact soil. It also weighs only 2.5 pounds and comes in a nylon bag with Velcro closure and belt loop so portability is no issue.
Things can get bad real fast if you run out of water. Make sure you have ample supply when you go camping. You need water especially now that you have to clean yourself more often than normal. Bring something like the Katadyn Base Camp Pro Water Filter. Fetch as much as 10 liters of water from a spring or river using the Katadyn and let it do its job. You can then use the filtered water for cleaning yourself up.
One reason why many people are itching to go out and exercise is to enjoy the fresh air. After months of being cooped in their homes, they just want to do something that’s not confined by walls. Aerobics, strength training, and other forms of exercises are considered safe outdoor activities as long as you do them far from other people.
With the pandemic and rioting happening all over, people desperately need something to help relieve some of that stress. Yoga is a form of exercise that helps with stress. It also improves focus, promote healthy sleep, and increases flexibility and balance.
Yoga can be done indoors where you’re safe from the virus or practice yoga outdoors if you really need fresh air. Just make sure there’s no smoke or tear gas nearby from the clashing police and rioters.
Seriously, though, yoga is one of the few safe outdoor activities during the pandemic. You don’t need to be near anyone to practice yoga. All you need is a secluded area, somewhere there are very few people, and a yoga mat.
The ground may be soft but you’ll still want to use a yoga mat. The TOPLUS Yoga Mat is 6mm thick, which should provide comfort while you do your exercises. This yoga mat is made of durable TPE material, which is friendlier to the environment than PVC, EVA, and NBR mats.
Martial Arts Training
Like yoga, you can practice soft martial arts on your own and away from the crowd. Soft martial arts don’t use that much force when executing techniques. It’s more focused on deflecting attacks and using the opponent’s momentum against him. Aikido, chi kung or qigong, and tai chi are prime examples of soft martial arts.
Outdoor Activities You Should Avoid and Their Alternatives
Team sports, especially-high-contact ones, should be avoided for the time being. A five-on-five game of basketball, for example, means there are at least ten people getting physical with each other. If one of them carries the coronavirus, it will easily spread among the others. If you really miss playing basketball, your best option is to hang a hoop in your backyard and shoot some baskets or play one-on-one with a family member.
Football is also a physical sport in which you share one ball. The best alternative is to simply catch and throw a pigskin. The same goes with baseball and softball. On regular days, you get a team of nine players on the field usually using one ball and one bat. While the players are wearing gloves, they can still spread germs, viruses and other nasty stuff. The option is to just play catch.
Soccer enthusiasts can practice their kicks against a wall or with another person. Volleyball players can also use the wall for their spikes or attacks.
Lawn tennis is more commonly played by two persons so it may seem like a safe outdoor activity during the pandemic. However, you are using the same balls. In case one of you is infected, you’ll surely pass the virus to the other person.
People are aching to take a dip in pools or go to beaches because of the heat. Most of these places will stay closed but just in case, skip this outdoor activity for now. The risk of contamination is not due to the water but from the inevitable congestion. The bigger the crowd, the more likely the coronavirus will spread. It’s that simple.
As a matter of fact, a Memorial Day pool party in Missouri’s Lake of the Ozarks showed a crowd of revelers in and around the pool not practicing social distancing. Unfortunately, one party goer has tested positive for COVID-19.
The only alternative is to avoid public water recreational areas. Set up your own inflatable pool in your backyard and safely enjoy the water with people living in the same home. The Intex Swim Center Family Inflatable Pool is perfect for the family. It measures 120″ x 72″ x 22″ and can carry up to 264 gallons of water. The inflatable pool is made of sturdy 16 gauge vinyl. Each of the three chambers has their own free flow exhaust valve. The walls are extra wide so the family can be more comfortable while beating the heat. The pandemic and riots have already taken a toll on everyone’s mental well-being. At least you can do something immediate about the heat.
Before going out and enjoying your new-found freedom, find out more about the new guidelines. Check with your local government and health officers on what safe outdoor activities you can do. Ask them what you shouldn’t do, as well. Visit Gentleman Pirate Club regularly to get updates on the coronavirus pandemic.