After a long winter full of socially distant holidays, plenty of binge-watching and numerous pandemic trends – from baking experiments to indoor workouts – warmer days have finally made their debut and people are eager to get outside. While the colder months bring a lot of challenges as is, particularly for those who suffer from seasonal depression or seasonal affective disorder (SAD), the looming presence of COVID-19 added another layer of complication this past season. With rising temperatures and sunny spring days ahead, Blue KC encourages everyone to safely enjoy the outdoors, soak up some much-needed vitamin D and get moving with these four socially distant springtime activities.
1. Get Active Outside
Once the pandemic hit, our exercising routines as we knew them came to a screeching halt. No more open gym access, yoga classes with touching mats or group fitness with a trainer correcting form. However, as time has passed, many people have found themselves settling into new habits that allow them to stay active while keeping a distance, and now, with warmer days fast approaching, there are even more activity options to consider. Cruise the neighborhood on rollerblades or a bike or soak up some outdoor scenery by hiking trails in your local, state or national parks. If you feel like you need motivation to move, outside fitness classes may be a good option for you. Check out websites for local gyms or boutique clubs to learn about their outdoor offerings, invite a friend, grab your water bottle and go sweat!
2. Host Social – and Distant – Outdoor Events
It’s been a long, difficult year of separating from loved ones, friends and colleagues, but with more opportunity to spend time outside on the horizon, it’s comforting to know that the CDC has deemed it safe to socially gather in small groups while everyone maintains the appropriate, recommended distance. Whether you host a barbeque in the backyard, enjoy happy hour sips on the porch or meet to picnic in a park, there’s no better time to plan for these enjoyable springtime events than now.
3. Participate in Minimal-Contact Sports
While contact sports like basketball and football pose risks in transmitting germs, team or one-on-one sports like tennis, soccer, golf and volleyball allow players to keep a safe distance while having fun. Organize a schedule with a small team of family members or friends and establish a set of rules that encourages social distancing of at least six feet between all players and personal sanitization before and after the game. Ensure that all participants bring a mask to wear in the case that they come within six feet of one another, whether it’s during a play or while discussing strategy in a huddle. Distance sports in the spring present the perfect opportunity to exercise, socialize and stay safe.
4. Grow a Vegetable Garden
We all know that a rainy April brings a blooming May, so what are you waiting for? Put your creativity to work by planning out a home garden – floral or vegetable – that you can watch flourish. Not only will you likely collect colorful bouquets and healthy harvests, but you’ll also be doing a favor for your physical and mental wellbeing. Did you know that gardening can help reduce stress and boost serotonin levels? In fact, in a recent Princeton University study on leisure activities, vegetable gardening ranked among the highest for helping to improve emotional health. So, grab some gloves, get to work and reap the benefits!
Whether you’re looking for a sweat-filled solo adventure or some fun and safe social interaction, there’s no time the present. For additional information on Kansas City’s hiking trails, resolutions for healthy living in 2021 and more, visit The Blueprint.