Yes, You Can Enjoy The Outdoors – Ideas for Puebloans

Getting cabin fever and want to know what outdoor activities are save during this COVID-19 pandemic – especially on days like this with temperatures expected to reach 76 degrees? While exercising caution right now, medical experts are saying fresh air, sunshine and exercise are important for your physical and mental health.

Nothing has changed since the pandemic about what experts advise: thirty to sixty minutes of physical activity, most days of the week, will result in a stronger immune system. Our own Senator Leroy M. Garcia himself said in a post with photos of himself out biking at the reservoir:

“It is especially, important during these challenging times to take care of yourself mentally and physically. Exercise of any kind is helpful in accomplishing that – I just finished a 20 mile mountain bike trail. I even met a friend on the trail. Stay safe and healthy Colorado!”

Hard core athletes are already getting creative, mixing up their routines and going virtual with teammates, but for those who don’t have regular routines, or are used to going to a gym, it’s time to start to building up your immune system to help fight off this virus and others. We just need to get creative, so here’s some ideas:

At the very least, if you don’t feel comfortable leaving your home, at least get outside for say, ten minutes a day – roll up your sleeves and take in the sunshine, loading your body with Vitamin D. Breathe, meditate and look at the wonders of nature while outside. Know that one day, if we all follow the rules of social distances, things will at some point return to normal.

Since coronavirus spreads primarily through person-to-person contact, if you do leave your home, the key to enjoying the great outdoors is to stay at least six feet away from others and clear of public areas.

When you’re out, avoid touching surfaces with your hands and keep your hands away from your face. Try to use your elbow if you have to touch doors or to hit a cross walk button, for example. Cough into your shoulder, bring hand sanitizer and wash your hands immediately when you return home.

This isn’t the time to be extreme at any sport, even for top athletes. You really don’t want to head to the emergency room or urgent care for treatment during these times when hospital personnel is using all the resources they can for COVID-19, trying to avoid contamination themselves. Low risk sports however are fine.

While the government has closed picnic areas and playgrounds at parks as the virus lives on surfaces, you can still utilize them, and our Riverwalk, to walk, jog, bike and hike, keeping that key distance away from others and avoiding busy times.

The governor has said that roads in Colorado are 60 percent less busy since his orders, a good sign, as even making stops for gas and groceries introduces opportunities for the virus to spread to new locations, as may have happened in the case of the Creede resident.

Stay, local. Keep in mind the story we published about the man from Creede who ended up fighting for his life at Parkview Medical in Pueblo. He made a trip to Moab, Utah with his atv, where he may have contracted coronavirus. He wanted Facebook users and the media to share his story to protect others and encourage everyone to stay home and not travel.

WALKING – Being cooped up during the stay at home orders can have negative effects. You can take your kids and dog for a walk around your neighborhood, but not in crowded areas. Carry hand sanitizer and wash your hands when you return home.

HIKING – Being out in nature can provide a means of stress relief. But if you are out of shape, take it easy and stick to less strenuous trails to avoid injury.

BIKING – Be sure to take a bottle of water when you head out. on your bike. Just steer clear of crowded routes. And no group riding.

BIRD WATCHING – Take some binoculars and maybe a camera (or smart phone with a camera) on your walks and his and keep an eye out for bids. Share you photos at our sister group Now That Is Pueblo For You! where we showcase local photography and art.

WALKING TOURS – Take walking tours of historic neighborhoods in Pueblo. In a city as old and culturally diverse as Pueblo, you’ll find treasures everywhere. Find local landmarks. Snap some photos and share them at our sister group Now That Is Pueblo For You! where we showcase local photography and art.

GARDENING – With kids home from school, gardening is a great family activity. It’s also a good time to get caught up on yard work, weeding, trimming and pruning plants. It’s too early for tomatoes and chiles, but you can plant coo-season annuals and root vegetables such as potatoes.

Local garden shops such as Fox’s, are open and employees are wearing masks and gloves. Just avoid going to busy home improvement stores even, unless absolutely necessary as we’ve seen them packed lately.

WHAT TO AVOID – Team sports such as basketball, softball, baseball and volleyball are to be avoided because they entail contact or closer proximity than six feet. Casual contact activities, such as flag football or frisbee, should only be played with family members with similar low risk factors, if at all.

Local public golf courses have been closed amidst the outbreak as use often requires going inside club houses, paying fees and renting golf cards.

As for swimming pools, chlorine in the pools kills bacteria, so they are safe in general but public pools likely won’t open up at the end of May as usual as crowded pools are considered high-risk and surface areas around pools could carry the virus.

In general, know that coronavirus is a respiratory virus which spreads primarily through droplets generated when an infected person coughs or sneezes, or through droplets of saliva or discharge from the nose. Studies suggest that coronaviruses (including preliminary information on the COVID-19 virus) may persist on surfaces for a few hours or up to several days.

To protect yourself, clean your hands frequently with an alcohol-based hand rub or wash them with soap and water frequently. Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands. Gov. Jared Polis is asking Colorado citizens to wear masks when outside as well.

The latest data from the Department of Public Health in Colorado shows that there have been 140 deaths from the virus, and 924 people are hospitalized in our state. Nearly 26,000 tests have been conducted in Colorado. There are 140 deaths so far. Experts believe the curve may peak in mid April if people exercise serious caution, and if not, the virus will spread for a longer period of time.

So please adhere by the guidelines.

Photos of and by Senator Leroy Garcia – You can follow our own Pueblo native senator, who is Colorado’s first hispanic head of the senate at his Facebook page, where he posted this. He also shares information about the latest on the virus and other governmental activity. https://www.facebook.com/senleroygarcia/

About Jenny Paulson 185 Articles
Jenny Paulson is the publisher and editor of Pueblo Independent Magazine and can be contacted for more information about Pueblo Magazine, editorial content, marketing, website design and other services.