While we all do our part to practice social distancing and stop the spread of COVID-19, getting outside for some fresh air and sunshine can be a saving grace during such uncertain and stressful times. Even though parks and certain public areas remain off-limits, your Valecraft community offers numerous ways to get out of the house to enjoy the outdoors while still remaining safe. Just remember to stay at home if you’re sick and maintain 6 feet of distance between you and others when outside. Here are a few suggestions for when you’re feeling cooped up indoors.
Go for a Brisk Walk With the Dog
Did you know that even a short walk can work wonders for improving your physical and mental health? Of course, the more active you can be, the better. But even a brisk 10-minute walk can be very beneficial. Whether you start your morning with a walk and some music, take the dog out for an early stroll, or decide to head out during the afternoon to enjoy the sunshine, it’s a simple way to help boost your energy, improve your mood, calm anxiety and depression, strengthen muscles, improve mental clarity, and even sleep better at night.
Go for a Drive
When you’re eager to get away and enjoy a view that’s a little further from home, head out for a drive in the car. Bring a coffee to enjoy the view of the river or any of your favourite spots in and around the city that you’ve been missing.
Enjoy a Nature Filled Hike
Nothing soothes the soul and calms the mind quite like being surrounded by nature. And throughout the Valecraft communities, there’s no shortage of places to submerge yourself in lush and vibrant landscapes. With the tinge of spring already here, it’s the perfect time to watch as everything blossoms back to life. Whether you’re located in Rathwell Landing, Deerfield Village, or Place St. Thomas, you can find many beautiful trails that wind along towering tree-filled paths, creeks, and stunning vegetation.
The New York Central Fitness Trail, which was once used as a railway link between Ottawa and New York, now serves as a 10 km trail for walking and biking. There’s also Pastor Trail that winds along Castor River, and the Reveler Conservation Area. Near Kanata North, you can reconnect with nature along the Sarsaparilla Trail, the Jack Pine Trail, the South March Highlands, plus so many more pathways that are only a few steps from home or a short drive away.
Have a Picnic
Now’s the time to do all of those little things that you never had time to do before, like have a picnic in your backyard. It’s a fun way to get the kids involved and enjoy some snacks outside in the fresh air. All you need to do is choose a few tasty treats and snacks to enjoy, throw down a comfy blanket or two, or use a table to arrange a picture-perfect setting. Add some music and a few fun games into the mix and you’ll get to enjoy some outdoorsy bliss with your family.
Go for a Bike Ride
Sometimes, a simple stroll just won’t cut it. When you need to burn off some steam, take advantage of the Rideau Trail Networks and head out on your bike. You can find certain ones that are more suitable for biking so you can zip along the paths and get your heart rate pumping for a good session of exercise.
Go for a Jog
As long as you’re steering clear of any crowded trails or pathways, you can do whatever form of exercise you enjoy most – jogging, rollerblading, hiking. Set the pace that you prefer and enjoy some leisurely personal time all to yourself on those days when you’re feeling cooped up.
One of the best outdoor activities to do outside while at home is gardening. If you have kids at home, it’s a perfect family activity that kids of all ages can help out with. Whether it’s weeding, pruning, raking or planting, it’s a good way to get the kids involved in some chores while learning and having fun at the same time.
For those who are older, or have an underlying condition with an immune system that’s already compromised, it might be better to stay put within your property and limit or avoid outdoor activities until it’s deemed safe.
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