by ROAD iD Staff March 25, 2020

There are plenty of safe and practical ways to enjoy the outdoors while practicing social distancing. We're all in this together, so we asked ROAD iD Ambassadors to share how they’re staying active and responsibly shaking off cabin fever.

Even when you’re enjoying the outdoors, it’s important to keep your distance and follow CDC recommendations of staying at least six feet away from other people. Be sure you know what’s happening in your area and whether there are any curfews or mandatory shelter-in-place orders.

Think Outside the Gym

Social distancing has put our usual gym routine and fitness classes on hold. Thankfully, outdoor workouts aren’t completely out of the picture, as long as you're taking precautions and maintaining social distance. Why not grab your gear and head outside for some fresh air?

For strength training, Ambassador Chris W. suggests turning your driveaway into a makeshift gym. Chris has been taking his kettlebells and resistance bands out front for a sweat sesh on the pavement. 

Solo runs and rides are perfect for getting a dose of sunshine. “Running outside in the natural light is a natural mood booster," Wendy R. points out. Even if you run on a treadmill, Wendy suggests hauling it outdoors for a change of scenery. 

 

For the multitaskers among us, take Fabian's Advice: "One way I've stayed active and outdoors is working in my front and back lawn. It's been great for knocking out my "honey to-do list!"

Find A New Path

Variety is the spice of life, especially when you're spending most days at home. Finding that spice is as simple as changing up your running route, says Ambassador Worth C. He suggests exploring new trails and streets around your neighborhood.

Trail running is a great way to mix things up, Wendie says. “Trails are natural social distancers. While some trails are wider than others, single track trails lend themselves to solo running,” says Wendy. Trail running will find muscles you never knew you had before as you navigate uneven terrain.”

It’s worth noting that some trails have been especially crowded as of-late, making it nearly impossible to maintain a responsible distance from others. Be sure to steer clear of congested routes and always follow local and CDC guidance.

“Here is my favorite alternative to a trail that is so often overlooked— the dirt road,” says Aimee M. “It’s easy on the joints, wide for social distancing, oftentimes on a one-mile grid structure, less muddy than most trails in Colorado right now, flat or rolling hills usually. A perfect place for easy miles or workouts.”

And for those who prefer running on an outdoor track, Irene M. suggests finding a similar terrain with help from technology. “I am using the Plot-A-Route website to map out a flat quarter, half, and 1-mile loop to do speed work in my neighborhood,” she says.

Walk your Four-legged Friends:

Getting outside with your pups gives them, and you, an extra round of activity during the day. Plus, dogs simplify social distancing, Kasey H. points out.

“If you have a pet, you can be as close to them as you want! Take advantage of that. Take those long walks that your dog loves or use this time to work on training,” Kasey says. “If there's some trick you've always wanted to teach them, or a behavioral problem you've wanted to work on, now's your chance.”

Ambassador Courtney summed it up perfectly: “Spending time with my dogs is such good exercise for the heart and soul.”

 

Make It A Family Affair

Staying active can be an opportunity for family bonding. Chris says his family has been going outdoors together and doing daily fitness challenges. Pick an exercise (like squats or planks) and perform it for the duration of an entire song. Chris says the Bring Sally Up squat challenge is a favorite. 

"We do it in a circle together so we can watch each other's faces turn red late in the song. Makes it way more fun!" Chris says.

Join A Group Challenge

Hundreds of Spring races have been called off or postponed because of health concerns. While the cancellations are warranted, it’s disappointing for runners who have been training and looking forward to upcoming races. Thankfully, clubs have gotten creative when it comes to replacing race day.

Many groups are creating challenges to support social distancing while maintaining connections in the running community. Take it from the Social Distance Run, a challenge led by Ambassador Amy H. and Orca Running. It's perfect for folks who miss their running buddies and training programs.

“Like a pack of introverted hyenas, participants will keep their distance but still look out for one another,” Amy says. The Social Distance Run combines a training challenge, virtual race day, and running group into an 8-week program. Participants even get a race day medal at the end of the challenge.

 

Keeping in contact with your workout group can help you stay accountable and goal-focused. For example, Ashley is challenging her Triathlete Club Members to complete an Ironman or Half Ironman Distance within one weeks’ time.

“They have a month to work toward their goal or complete the distance as many times as possible. We post photos as we go so everyone is working out “together.” It keeps everyone motivated and in touch with each other.”

Sam F.suggests checking out virtual challenges like The Un-Canceled Project and Spark+ by Virtual Running Clubs.


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