It is no longer news that the COVID-19 pandemic took the world unawares such that many activities were disrupted. This has led the government to place restrictions on outdoor activities, such as sports, festivals, concerts, and other events. With the current upsurge, it is becoming clear that the world is not yet close to overcoming the ravaging pandemic.
However, despite the limitations, there is still enough fun to be had. In fact, there is no better time to seek out sports-related activities than now. This is because the lockdown has caused many people to be so immersed in their problems and life challenges that their lifestyle gets affected negatively.
Of course, governments across various nations are relaxing the restrictions placed on movements and activities. However, it is not every sports activity that is compatible with the particular measures in place to keep people healthy. With this in mind, the sports to be highlighted are COVID-19 friendly. They do not go contrary to health protocols that involve social distancing, the use of face masks or shields, hand sanitization, among others.
Get yourself involved in the following top five sports.
Horse Riding & Racing
Horse sport is unarguably too versatile sport to be affected by the rising spate of COVID-19. Usually, the sport is regarded as an idle and passive activity. This is far from the truth. One of the reasons for its continued popularity relates to its health benefits. Horse riding does not necessarily involve having contact with other people.
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It offers a wide range of physical, mental, and psychological benefits to the riders. Its physical benefits involve helping the riders to improve respiration and blood circulation. In addition, the balance and coordination required during the activity help riders to develop a better posture.
In terms of mental and psychological benefits, riders tend to develop mental alertness that helps them perceive and handle emergency situations better. The overall activity is an enjoyable one, helping to ease riders of accumulated stress that is often associated with modern life.
The good news is that horse riding has little age and abilities limitations, thus making it a friendly sport activity for both adults and children, even without previous experience.
How much do you miss slugging it out on the tennis court? You have been so immersed in work life during the week that a little time on the court won’t be a bad idea. Tennis is one of the activities that can help your mind go blank on work life and other life issues. Besides, it is conducive to social distancing. In fact, you don’t have to be within the range of 2 meters of anyone while you play. In other words, it is a non-contact game.
The flexibility and safety of the activity have made it witness a great influx of people since the pandemic began. It has the mental benefits of helping the players improve self-esteem, optimism, and vigor as well as helping the brain to facilitate a lifetime of continuous development.
Aside from horse riding and tennis, golf is another least risky sport that you can participate in, during the weekend. It is also a non-contact sport and physical activity. The joy that comes from a good shot can help individuals improve their self-esteem, confidence, and anxiety levels, all of which contribute to improved mental wellbeing. There are some organizations that adopt the sport as a form of therapy to help the aging population, especially those living with dementia and Parkinson’s disease, to improve their lives.
Before going out to engage in the sport, be sure to take the following precautions: avoid the driving range, wash your golf towel before leaving for the course, avoid using the ball washer, and leave the flagstick in the hole.
Skiing and Snowboarding
Though skiing and snowboarding involve lifts riding, standing in lines, and having a drink in shelters, they remain great cardiovascular and heart-healthy exercises that can help you burn some calories and shed some pounds. They also help to improve overall happiness and well-being, thus contributing to mental health.
Skiing, for instance, places you in a squat position such that you work certain body parts, such as your inner and outer thighs, quads, hamstrings, and glutes. Through this, you get disconnected from the surrounding beauty such that your gaze is placed on the slope in front of you. By the time you are through with the activities, you will be too tired to scroll through your phone, thus making you have a sound sleep.
Walking, running, and hiking
Apart from some seeming rigorous exercises, you may also engage in simple daily physical exercises. The stay-safe order is not binding on walking, running, and hiking. Doing these outdoors are great ways to support your physical health, mental, and emotional needs, without compromising the social distancing guidelines.
Walking, running, and hiking are great alternatives to shared indoor spaces in the gym. By engaging in these forms of sport, you are activating more of your support muscles to improve balance and stability. The exercises allow for social distancing and the use of face masks.
Why choose outdoor activities?
The COVID-19 virus gets spread among people that in close contact, usually within a radius of 2 meters. It also spreads through droplets released into the air through breathing, speaking, talking, coughing, or sneezing. In certain situations, the virus also gets transmitted easily, especially in enclosed spaces with poor ventilation, even if the occupants are not in close contact.
Being outdoor allows fresh air to disperse the droplets containing the virus that increases the potential for it to spread and infect people within enclosed spaces.
If you don’t want to go outside, you can also utilize your small spaces to engage in activities that make you stay healthy. Try to stand up and move around at regular intervals. Stretch your body. Take some break from activities, such as cleaning, gardening, dancing, and cooking. The goal is to stay active and healthy while reducing stress and anxiety levels that can accumulate while staying at home.