|Posted on July 3, 2020 at 8:00 AM|
I have to say that 2020 has been a troubling year full of uncertainties. We’ve all felt cabin fever of Stay-at-Home Orders and can’t wait to get back to normal. This summer is a difficult one, especially with travel plans put on hold, many families are opting for stay-cations. Even with a Pandemic hovering over us, we can still enjoy hiking and biking on the local trails safely.
My Boaz and I have been able to bike on the trails without issues. The last time we rode on a local trail, it was a mixed bag of people who were cautiously social distancing and those who threw caution to the wind. The ones most concerning were under thirty years of age. Since our interests are different than theirs, we were able to dodge them pretty well. Keeping distance from other riders and hikers was critical. We are considering riding again over the holiday weekend. Still, We are concerned about the number of people who will have the same idea. How can you safely enjoy the trails with COVID-19 concerns?
Here are a few ideas to help you have a safe, healthy workout on your local biking and hiking trails:
Try to go at non-peak times, like early in the morning. The fewer people sharing the trail with you, the less possibility of exposure to COVID-19, and the less likely you could spread it to others. You will have a higher demand for oxygen, which means you will inhale a lot more air and expel more airborne particles into the air. If you don’t have other people breathing in your air space, you will reduce the number of water droplets hovering around you. You will also avoid possibly contaminating others; after all, it’s not just about us.
Wear a mask to be safe and protect others during outdoor activities. Follow the CDC guidelines for face masks to help prevent the spread of the novel Coronavirus. Makes sure they fit correctly covering both your nose and mouth, especially as you pass people along your route. When no one is near, you can uncover your face to reduce overheating and feel free. Remember that your mask can become contaminated on the outside. Keep that side away from your face and don’t touch it. Avoid scratching the itch that invariably comes when you have it covered with a mask!
If you are running or cycling, try wearing a neck gaiter made for outdoor activity. You spew more airborne particles because you breathe heavier. Some neck gaiters are made for outdoor exercise like cycling and running. Here is what the CDC says about wearing face covering in high-intensity exercise, “People who are engaged in high intensity activities, like running, may not be able to wear a cloth face covering if it causes difficulty breathing. If unable to wear a cloth face covering, consider conducting the activity in a location with greater ventilation and air exchange (for instance, outdoors versus indoors) and where it is possible to maintain physical distance from others. “ (CDC) Reduce your exposure by going to less populated trails and at less popular times. Double your distance between you and others who aren’t in your family. Avoid breathing their direction to protect them as well as you.
Don’t congregate at the trailhead and other stop points. People like to gather because they are sick and tired of being isolated, but don’t let your guard down. Wear a mask and maintain social distance when it is unavoidable. Keep hand sanitizer with you and use it if you touch anything when you are unable to wash your hands. Avoid using public toilets and water fountains whenever possible. Of course, if you do, be careful! Bring your own water in a sealable bottle.
When you finish, go home and clean up. Clean your bike, wash your clothing, and take a shower. Not only do you get the trail dust and pollen off, you also wash off bacteria and viral particles. If you have something with you that you can’t wash or sanitize, leave it out in the sun for several hours, which may break down viruses and bacteria (BBC)
Boredom doesn’t have to be an option this summer. Enjoy outdoor exercise and activity safely!
May God bless you!
Related articles on the Internet:
Walking Safely during Cornavirus by Very Well Fit.
Running During Coronavirus Pandemic by CBS News.
Wearing Face Masks When Exercising Outside by the Guardian.
Can You Kill the Coronavirus with UV Light? by BBC News.
Cloth Face Covering Guidance by Center of Disease Control.