Spending Time Outside While Social Distancing

YES, you CAN go for a run – or a walk, jog, or bike ride

As the snow begins to melt and the temperature begins to rise, it becomes harder and harder for folks to stay off the trails during these times of social distancing. The good news is you don’t have to! If you’re anything like me, being outside and experiencing nature is one of the ways that I have been keeping my sanity while practicing the art of social distancing.

Feel free to take a solo jog (or alongside other healthy members of your household). Just make sure that nobody has signs of a respiratory illness! For a safe and enjoyable trip outside your home, remember these rules:

NO, you don’t need to carry a 6 ft. stick, BUT –

The rules to safely spend time on the trails are simple:

1) Always be aware of your surroundings

2) Keep a safe distance between yourself and others (at least 6ft)

3) Use common sense

4) Wash your hands

5) Don’t touch your face!

6) NO hugs or handshakes!

The COVID-19 virus doesn’t just appear out of the woods (see what I did there?). You have to come in contact with somebody that has been exposed to the disease through droplets by coughs, sneezes, or by shaking hands. It can also live on surfaces like door knobs, tabletops and telephones, all of which are things that you shouldn’t necessarily come in contact with while spending time out on the trails.

Wash Your Hands

Be sure to wash your hands for at least 20 seconds before and after you spend time outdoors. Soap and water are considered to be a crucial defense against this disease so be sure to do so frequently. It would be best if you could shower and change your clothes afterwards.

If you come across a public water fountain, be sure to wipe it down before taking a drink or filling your water bottle. It is a good idea to bring wipes along just in case you come in contact with a surface that is highly trafficked. It never hurts to be as safe as possible to protect yourself and others from COVID-19. And don’t touch your face!

It is REALLY good for you

Not only will spending time outside improve your mood by releasing the endorphins that bring you joy, but it also has the added benefit of contributing to an overall healthier lifestyle. Working out for thirty to sixty minutes per day can help boost your immune system and help your mental health if you’ve been consumed in fear and/or stuck at home here lately. Get the kids involved! What better way to spend time together as a family than by taking a walk together?

Use Common Sense

If you’re not feeling well – don’t risk it! Stay home! We have to work together to limit the spread of COVID-19, not only for ourselves but for those who are considered high-risk. If you are quarantining yourself you could always run on a treadmill or do at-home fitness workouts, just be careful not to overdo it if you’re feeling unwell. Use extra caution spending time outdoors. The last thing you want to do right now is get hurt and then find yourself taking a trip to the hospital. Limit your risks as much as possible by being extra-cautious.

At the end of the day, don’t be afraid to go outside. If you find peace in nature then be sure to get outside as much as you can during this time. Just be smart and follow these rules and you should be safe. Since the rules and regulations are rapidly changing, it’s always a good idea to check a reliable source such as the CDC website to see what the rules are for Burnett County and beyond.