Importance of going outside during the pandemic


The pandemic has made everything so different from what it was just a year ago that doing some things normally is quite refreshing. One important activity that should not stop because of the pandemic is exercise. 

Exercising and getting outside is extremely important without a pandemic, and that makes it even more important and necessary during the pandemic. Even with gyms and public parks closing or limiting capacity, finding time to get out of the house, breathe fresh air, and work out, or just taking a walk are critical to your mental state. 

With the closures of so many places people rely on to exercise, it can be hard to find a way to workout on your own. Buying your own dumbbells and small exercising equipment, almost creating a personal gym in your own home, is a great solution. But for those who can’t buy a lot of exercising equipment, just going outside to run, jog, or even just walk is a great way to exercise without equipment. You can build and grow from walking to jogging to running, going outside to practice everyday.

Exercise is an incredibly important break from what can be a stressful daily life and has some other incredible benefits. According to Mayo Clinic, exercise releases feel-good endorphins that improve your mood and increase a general feeling of well being, and takes your mind away from the stresses of life and negative thoughts and feelings. It feels good to take care of yourself, and exercise is one of the best ways to accomplish this.

 At a time where stresses are at an all-time high and everyone is being impacted, it’s easy to fall into a state of depression and increased anxiety. Exercise is one of the proven ways to help combat these feelings. The many other benefits to exercise include gaining confidence, getting more social interaction, and coping with feelings in a positive and healthy way, according to the Mayo Clinic. 

Even with the second wave of the virus, getting outside while being safe should continue to happen. According to Marc Berman, a leading expert on how environmental factors can affect the brain and behavior, “Our research has found that nature is not an amenity—it’s a necessity. We need to take it seriously.” 

It can be extremely easy to sit idle while the world around you starts shutting down. For this reason, the importance of getting up and getting outdoors during the pandemic has been magnified, and has made it more important than ever in a time when so many are struggling. 

With less to do and not being able to interact with people, the mental health of many has been negatively affected. Sleep issues, anxiety, and substance abuse have risen for many during the pandemic, and according to Runner’s World, something as simple as opening a window can increase self-esteem, life satisfaction, and overall happiness. 

According to Frontiers in Psychology, COVID-19 lockdowns have resulted in a decrease in all levels of physical activities, and a 28% increase in sitting time as well as an increase in unhealthy food consumption. This increase is more than likely even higher for high school students during remote learning, who are sitting in front of computers for a least 5 to 6 hours a day on Google Meets. This increased sense of laziness that online learning has created means it is essential to get up and have a break, with exercise being the best way to do this.

During the pandemic, it is especially critical to keep doing the things that are important. Exercise and the outdoors are still incredibly important, and have become even more so with the increase in stress the pandemic has created. 

By Lucas Johnson, Staff Reporter