Your office may be closed because of COVID-19, and many of us are now working remotely while our usual “go-to” places like gyms, shopping centers, and sporting events remain shut down. Under new “shelter in place” requirements in many regions, travel is limited to essential trips only, but there are allowances for fresh air and exercise—provided you maintain the required six or more feet of social distance.
This can be tricky in a big, bustling and crowded city like San Francisco, but if you can head to a park in these situations, you might be able to carve out some space.(Note: follow CDC guidelines and check local public health regulations for what is recommended in your area).
Welcome to life in the time of coronavirus. It’s disruptive in so many ways, and beyond the potential to become gravely ill, the pandemic is putting a strain on everyone’s physical and mental health.
If you’re stuck inside because you’re feeling sick or have been diagnosed with the virus, stay there until you are cleared to do otherwise. If you are feeling well, however, setting aside some time to get outside and move, in a responsible manner, is the way to go.
Hiking, running or cycling solo are all fantastic ways to keep yourself fit and healthy, without putting yourself or others at risk. The fresh air will do you good on all levels. There’s plenty of research on the benefits of nature to your mental health, and right now, everyone can use a little of that.
If you’re new to any of these activities, or have been away from them for a while, here’s how to dive (back) in:
If you have a park or trails near you, hiking may be an outdoor option to get some fresh air and exercise. Scope out your trail options nearby and head that direction.
Remember to avoid touching surfaces like water fountains while you’re out on the trail or in a park. You’ll want to bring along a backpack and use it for stashing your water, snacks, hand sanitizer and maybe a raincoat or extra layers depending on the weather. If you need any gear like that, Decathlon has you covered, from hiking shoes to apparel, daypacks and accessories, in sizes for the entire family.
Running—trails and roads:
If you want to take things up a notch—or maybe even get some time away from the kids—a solo run might be just what you need. In many locations, this can be as simple as walking out the door and taking an easy run through the neighborhood. Start by alternating running and walking if you haven’t done it in a while, and space out your runs with an easy day in between to allow your body to adjust without tempting injury.
When you’re tired of your local blacktop or if you’re craving a nature fix, trail running is a fantastic option if it’s accessible to you. You’ll want different shoes than what you use on the road, and Decathlon offers up both at affordable prices.
Have fun jumping over rocks and roots or making your way through a shallow stream. You’ll use new muscles and engage your mind in the process. We promise you’ll feel like a kid again, and you might just come away with plans for a trail race in the future.
Like to see the world at a faster pace? Cycling could be your answer. The hardest part might be deciding between road, mountain or gravel biking, and Decathlon has affordable options for all if you’re in need of a new ride.
If you’re heading out on the roads, keep safety in mind. Wear bright jerseys or jackets so that cars can spot you right away. A helmet goes without saying, and make sure you use all the right hand signals for stopping or turning.
Out on trails or gravel roads, traffic is less of a concern but getting over obstacles on the path takes a little time. Go slow, pick an easy trail for starters, and remember that practice makes perfect—you’ll be feeling more comfortable the more often you get out there.
There aren’t many upsides to the current medical situation in our country, but there are ways to make it more manageable. Keep your physical and mental health in check by spending some valuable time in nature. Try virtually reaching out to friends and setting goals together - exercise can be social even while practicing social distancing. Whatever your strategy, keep it fun, and get out there. You’ll be glad you did.
*Note: We recommend you consult your physician or other health care professional before starting this or any new fitness program.