8 Physical Activities You Can Safely Do During COVID-19
I’ll be frank here: if you’re still waiting for the pandemic to be over to start practicing sports again, it might not be a wise idea.
Chidinma Chima-Melton, board-certified pulmonologist at UCLA Medical Center in Santa Monica, says it as clearly as possible: Covid-19 isn’t going away anytime soon. In fact, probably all of us who are alive right now will have to learn how to live with this pandemic by recreating new habits.
Although more and more gyms are opening across the country, the infection rate is still too high to work out safely there. Therefore, it’s crucial that each of us finds a new way of practicing at least 30 minutes of physical activity daily; right now, there are two big options: at home or outdoors.
If you’re uninspired about what to do, today I’ll give you 9 ways you can stay physically (and mentally!) healthy right in the middle of a pandemic. Let’s have a look:
Go for a walk or jog
Let’s say you’re not a sports person. Simply taking a walk every day can be immensely beneficial especially after months of lockdown. However, even a simple activity such as this one can be risky if you’re living in a crowded town.
Cedric X. Bryant, PhD, president of American Council on Exercise, says that you can safely take a jog in large locations such as the park as long as you maintain social distance. If you still can’t avoid the crowds, it’s best to wear a mask until you can keep the minimum distance of six feet again.
Worried about physical performance? Our post on exercising while wearing a mask covers everything you need to know.
Take a hike
If you do your homework and find a less crowded hiking trail near your home, then congratulations! You’re in for a great journey. However, since many people are also opting for physical activities outdoors right now, even trails that used to be empty can become very popular.
Even so, you can safely practice this activity by using a face mask or other covering whenever you pass by a crowded spot. However, it’s important to not take your covering off right after passing by!
According to Dr. Chima-Melton, it’s only safe to take your mask off after approximately 60 feet from the crowded spot you just walked by. Why? Researchers in Belgium and the Netherlands found that droplets of saliva can stay in the air for well over six feet in some cases. Even so, covering your mouth and nose can keep you safe especially since you’re outdoors.
Ride the bike
Maintaining the correct social distance by bike is a piece of cake. In fact, this may also be the safest mean of transportation right now since taking the bus or subway can increase chances for infection dramatically.
However, if you’re biking slowly in a crowded area, it’s still advisable to wear a mask. The same advice is applicable if you’re biking with other people as a group and chat with one another.
Yes, practicing sports outside is much safer than its indoor alternatives. However, you and others can still spread respiratory droplets that might contain the SARS-CoV-2 virus, so it’s best to take all precaution measures.