Written By: Alena Walrath, PTA
Before the Coronavirus pandemic (COVID-19), the Environmental Protection Agency reported that the average American spent 90% of his or her life indoors.
Now, with the social distancing measures that have been put in place to prevent the spread of Coronavirus, you can imagine the amount of time people are spending indoors is even greater than 90%. Many of us are beginning to feel the negative effects of isolation and prolonged periods of time indoors. Some of these effects include stress, decreased physical activity, loneliness and sadness.
So what can we do to help stay physically and mentally healthy during this time of social isolation? Something as simple as being outside in nature and going for a walk can help. The exercise, fresh air, and sunlight may be exactly what you need. Just being outside can help to decrease feelings of isolation, and reduce stress.
Walking is a very effective form of exercise and according to an article from NBC News may be “the most underrated form of exercise” with benefits such as decreased blood pressure, lower cholesterol, weight loss, better endurance and lower rates of depression.
An article from Harvard Medical School reveals additional health benefits of spending time outside including increased levels of vitamin D, improved healing time, increased levels of physical activity, improved concentration, and improved mood.
So while life isn’t back to normal, make spending some time outside part of your new normal. Go for a walk and enjoy nature.
Note: Remember to keep a distance of at least 6 feet from other people when spending time outdoors. Check out the CDC website for more information on the Coronavirus and learn what you can do to stay safe.