The Great Outdoors Has Never Been Greater

Quarantine and social distancing doesn’t mean only staying in the house

People around the world are stuck inside their homes, either because it’s against the law, or because they are taking safety measures to prevent them from getting COVID-19. However, it’s okay to go outside and get a fresh breath of air.

To illustrate this point, PE teacher Mr. O’Connor turned to the ancient Greeks: “If you’re in a bad mood, go for a walk. If you’re still in a bad mood, go for another walk” —Hippocrates.

O’Conner’s advice for staying healthy in this time of seclusion is to eat smart, walk daily, and try new things. Another PE teacher, Mr. Stokes, has been walking his dog, Marley, going on bike rides, lifting weights in the basement, and doing lots of yard work. He also puts walking at the top of his list of suggestions.

“Through exercise, your brain releases endorphins which reduce pain and increase a feeling of well-being or happiness,” Stokes explained.

“Going for a walk is a good way to get exercise, especially if you’ve been stuck indoors all day, said Daphne Scott, M.D., in an article entitled “Yes, It’s Okay to Take a Walk Outside During Coronavirus,” published in Oprah Magazine. “And it may help with feelings of anxiety or depression that some people may be experiencing.” The article, written by Samantha Lefave, suggests that if you take the time to scout your neighborhood, you might be able to walk around somewhere you oftentimes wouldn’t, as some streets are emptier than usual. And of course, when you return home, thoroughly wash your hands, sanitize exposed areas of your body, and change into clean clothes.

Previous studies have already shown that walking can help with weight and sleep issues. Additionally, according to the Microsoft News (MSN) article “Why Walking Is The Best Exercise During Coronavirus Lockdown,” walking can also improve flexibility, mental health, and provide a distraction and a chance to stop and think.

“It definitely clears my mind, and it makes me feel like I have a lot of self-confidence, and I can do anything that I want to do, and I can be who I want to be,” said Elizabeth W., 7th grader. “When I get out of the house, I’m like super pumped up. I’m really excited to do anything I want to do.”

Many people are suffering from anxiety and mood swings amid the coronavirus pandemic. Also, according to the MSN article, walking is a good way to counter these issues because walking has already been proven to calm a person’s mood, which explains why Elizabeth and others feel confident and happy when they are walking.

“Walking outside has benefits of fresh air and sunshine. Oxygen and Vitamin D are essential for brain function. Taking a walk around the block is my go-to stress reliever because I always feel more calm afterward,” explained PE teacher Ms. Creeden.

Walking gives you physical and mental benefits, making you happier and stronger. It can serve as a way to think in peace while building muscles and stronger bones. Walking is an essential exercise, even when social distancing is prevalent.