Everyone is coping with the current world events and quarantine measures in their way, generally adhering to the new acceptable norms of social existence. Movement around the globe, as within our local environment, became stale within a matter of days.
In this article, we present our strategies to stay active while in isolation without sacrificing personal freedom.
Jeff Hester – the founder of SoCal Hiker, most known for the “Six-Pack of Peaks” challenge, has an excellent comprehensive summary of the COVID-19 Park and Trail Closures.
Being uncomfortable shouldn’t be challenging, you simply have to change your perspective on what is acceptable and what is not, simple as that. As a person who spent the past 2 decades traversing the USA from coast to coast – I have one and simple piece of advice – if it is time to change, change your perspective.
For the past month, everyone had to learn the new social norms. Distancing and additional clothing garments (such as masks) became not only acceptable but celebrated.
Some of the densely populated areas of the country were met with stricter measures than others but as of today, it is important to recognize and appreciate our freedom to walk outside. Despite how odd things might seem, you are still allowed to enjoy the fresh air.
Walking around your neighborhood
We want to be mindful of the surrounding people and follow the recommended guidelines, such as wearing a mask in public places. An instant globe-wide phenomenon of wearing one seems like an important social conformation. Keeping an “appropriate” distance also helps some people to feel safer.
Following the proposed guidelines, we go on daily urban hikes within our hood. We learned that it can be equally as exciting as hiking on the parks’ trails. It only seems reasonable to continue enjoying the sunshine and exercising while it is still allowed.
Civic Parks Urban hiking
Public parks – such as civic parks around the state are technically closed with one little caveat – they are still open, but for “passive” use. People are biking, hiking and running on the. We see many people exercising and being outside on the trails.
Update: Just wanted to add that we regularly use iNaturalist app (sponsored by the California academy of Science and National Geographic) while learning about new plants and animals. It is absolutely easy to use, the interface is fairly intuitive. All you have to do is snap an image of the flora or fauna of interest. Immediately you can upload it and the software helps you identify the find. It’s is interactive and actually enjoyable to finally know the answer: What is this plant?
Mental health and physical activity during the lock down
Staying cooped up at home is rarely beneficial for mental health or physical health. Currently, almost every media outlet enjoys the surge of consumers’ engagement while feeding you the dreadful content. Perhaps you too noticed the surge of fabricated “facts” leading to insecurity and emotional instability.
Hence, we watch TV less and hike more. Going on short walks around the neighborhood is simply therapeutic during this odd lock-down. Following a simple walk you’ll instantaneously receive much needed positive endorphins.
We also enjoy camping inside of our apartment. It is a good time to check your gear and prepare for the adventures to come once we are on the other side of the Curve’s hump.
Going off into nature during the shutdown
Surprisingly, we learned from friends that hiking on less popular trails is not prohibited. It is encouraged since you can easily exercise the “social distancing” while enjoying your time outside.
Ultimately, we’d like to encourage other parents with kids to get out there and find inner peace during these micro hikes.