3 tips to exercising outdoors during COVID-19

Thanks to 29+ degree weather this week it's fair to say that many will be recreating outdoors in one form or another. This summer, however, COVID-19 requires that we all make some adjustments to how we enjoy the outdoors, and that includes when exercising outside. Here are 3 tips on how to safely exercise outside this summer.


STAY LOCAL

Calgary has over 10,000 hectares of parks and greenspace, 1,000 km of pathways, and 1,100 playgrounds for you to enjoy. That's a lot of outdoor space to play and exercise in, and the perfect opportunity to explore your neighbourhood. By way of example, we're hosting our Outdoor Training Classes at the Haysboro Community Association Playground every Thursday from 6:00 - 7:00 pm. It's a great neighbourhood spot to meet friends and neighbours, and to get a good sweat session in. If you can't make it to one of our classes, consider supporting a local business in your area that is offering certified outdoor classes.


FIND DISTANCED TOGETHERNESS

You've heard it said many times: humans are social creatures. We thrive and find motivation from being together. One of the hardest things about COVID-19 has been that we've been forced to maintain our distance from one another. While our physical connection has been removed it doesn't mean we can't get creative with how we find ways to bond. Exercising outdoors is one way we can safely reconnect with our friends, family, and neighbors. Here's how:

  1. Practice good hygiene - wash your hands frequently, and when you're unable to bring and use hand sanitizer. Pair that with avoiding touching your face and you're golden.

  2. Keep your distance - with 10,000 hectares of park and greenspace there's room for everyone to keep 2 meters distance. Try using cones, or hula hoops to create a visual marker between you and friends.

  3. Avoid sharing equipment - opt for bodyweight movements or plyometrics. If you touch any surfaces make sure to use hand sanitizer after touching any surfaces.

KISS YOUR DEVICE GOODBYE

There's no need for fancy exercise apps when you're outdoors. Opt instead to Keep It Simple Silly by building on foundational movement patterns - we outlined what those are in a previous blog post, which you can find here.


And while you're outside, kiss that device goodbye too! A new study released this month by Statistic Canada outlined that:

Maintaining opportunities for outdoor exercise and limiting screen time promotes better mental and general health during periods of confinement.

In fact, more men and women reported very good or excellent mental and general health if they decreased their device use and/or were exercising outdoors compared with those who increased their use and who were not exercising outdoors. And when examined separately by age group, more men aged 55+ reported very good or excellent general health if they exercised outdoors (66%) compared with those who did not (51%).


Now get out there and enjoy the sunshine!