The Covid epidemic has made it more crucial than ever to be fit and healthy by participating in Covid-friendly outdoor activities. Because of lockdown limitations, gyms, sports clubs, and swimming pools had to close over the past 18 months, we had to get creative with how we exercised. As a result, we went outside. However, as Autumn approaches, the light nights fade and the temperatures steadily drop, reducing the motivation to exercise outside.
However, the virus is still around, and being outside is always a safer option than working out in a crowded gym, which is why I’ve compiled a list of 5 Covid-friendly outdoor activities to keep you healthy physically as well as mentally.
Do you recall the first lockdown? When we literally had no choice but to leave our houses for a short period of time to get some fresh air and exercise? I know it seems like a long time ago, but one positive outcome of the epidemic is that it has inspired more of us to go for daily walks or runs. Now that we have more flexibility, it’s time to take things to the next level and try trekking for a change.
You may be asking what the difference is between walking and hiking. Simply put, walking is done on a level, hard surface for one or two miles, whereas hiking is done on rugged terrains such as forests, fields, and mountains for longer lengths of time. Both are beneficial to one’s health in numerous ways, but hiking improves cardio and endurance while also burning more calories due to the longer distance traveled.
Hiking, for example, benefits heart health, lowers blood pressure, strengthens bones and muscles, and improves lung function. However, the mental health benefits of hiking are also worth mentioning, since it allows you to escape into nature, and with the nation’s mental health at an all-time low, we might all benefit from spending more time outside. It is the ideal activity to escape the stresses of the world if you require some alone time. If you want company, but are concerned about virus transmission, you can easily keep your distance from your trekking buddies.
Have you ever wanted to try horseback riding? If you haven’t yet, now is the time to do it, as horseback riding is one of the most environmentally friendly outdoor activities you can do in this Autumn.
If you’ve never ridden before, you’ll need to inquire about lessons at your local stables. Most stables will offer you a tasting session to see if you like it, or will at the very least enable you to visit them beforehand to inspect them. It’s not the cheapest pastime, so you want to make sure it’s a respectable stable – first impressions count, and if you can see that the stables are well-kept, that the horses appear healthy and happy, and that they have positive ratings, then you’re on to a winner.
After a few classes, you may be invited to participate in treks, which take you out into the countryside to explore local paths. Although you will be riding in a group, horses are excellent at socially separating themselves, so you will never be too near to another rider. Trekking horses are normally calm and have been trained to follow the horse in front of them. Moreover, at least one professional will be with you at all times to help manage the group and keep the horses under control.
Is there anything better than riding through the woods and fields, taking in all that fresh air, and knowing that you’re getting in shape while having a great time? Horseback riding is the ideal autumn activity.
People went out of their way to find alternative methods to get their water fix once swimming pools closed, and one of those ways was wild swimming. Wild swimming is exactly what it sounds like: swimming in the woods. Of course, extreme caution is required. You should do some research on the region you’re swimming in, first to see if you’re allowed to swim there, and then to make sure it’s safe.
Wild swimming can be done in the sea, lakes, or rivers, and there are now many local organizations that go out together if you’d want to benefit from the experience of others who have done it before you, but it can also be done on your own. You only need a wetsuit (UK waters are frigid, especially as the season progresses), a swimsuit, and lots of warm clothing to wrap up in afterward. Before you start swimming, you might want to invest in a pair of water shoes to help you cross stony beaches or rocky riverbeds.
Wild swimming has several health benefits. The exercise is effective as a cardio workout in and of itself, but regular exposure to cold water improves metabolism and circulation, lowers blood pressure and fat distribution, and is a well-known stress reliever.
As a result of the Covid epidemic, many of us will have suffered from mental health concerns. Kayaking and other outdoor activities can benefit not only our physical health but also our mental health and well-being. Because of the relaxing quality of water, kayaking, or indeed any water sport, is particularly beneficial. Simply being out on the water helps us to relax, slow down, and produce emotions of peace.
A kayak may be rented for a reasonable price, and it is a simple hobby to learn. You will receive a safety briefing and a buoyancy assist, but other than that, you are free to explore the waters. Kayaks can be purchased for one, two, or three people, so you can choose whether or not you want company. Kayaking is an excellent physical activity for toning and strengthening your upper and lower body.
SUP (Stand Up Paddleboarding) has been one of the most well-known activities throughout the summertime, and just because summer is ending doesn’t mean we should stop doing it. You’ll be OK if you invest in a solid wetsuit, and all that practice over the last 18 months ensures you won’t be falling into the sea any time soon!
Don’t worry if you haven’t tried paddleboarding yet; there’s still time, and it’s one of the most environmentally friendly outdoor activities you’ll discover this Autumn. Paddleboarding’s allure stems from the notion that you’re in charge; you can make it as soothing or tough a workout as you like, so anyone can do it.
A paddleboard and paddle are required, which may be rented from numerous water activity companies or purchased from a variety of sources if you choose. Inflatable ones are the best because they are easier to transport and store. Although it may appear difficult at first, it is all about balance and confidence, and after you have mastered standing on it, you may explore wherever you choose. Paddleboarding is all about core strength, and a 20-minute paddle down the river can give you a full-body workout. You’ll probably feel as if you’re barely moving at first, and you’ll question what good it’s doing, but your muscles will tell you otherwise the following day.
It’s a terrific family-friendly activity that everyone can enjoy, and it allows you to explore locations that would otherwise be inaccessible by land, ensuring that you avoid the crowds. It’s entertaining, it looks good, and it allows you to disconnect from the stresses of everyday life while also providing an excellent workout.