Following safe social distancing guidelines doesn’t mean we have to cut ourselves off from the outdoors. Here are five ways you can connect with nature and add something a little different to your social distancing routine.

1. Walk or bike around your neighborhood by yourself or with the people you live with

Appreciating nature doesn’t have to mean climbing a mountain or driving to a national park. It can be as simple as a walk around your neighborhood. Get out and appreciate the blooming flowers and nice weather, but be sure to practice proper social distancing by maintaining at least 6 feet of distance between yourself and others while you do so.

2. Exercise in your yard, on your porch or even in your house with the windows open

Jumping jacks, some yoga or whatever you choose to do to get moving is great for both your physical and mental health and can help you prepare for your next outdoors adventure. Getting some fresh air every day also makes staying home for social distancing feel a lot less restrictive.

3. Plan your next adventure

Whether you and your friends plan outdoor excursions frequently or you have no experience planning trips, now is a great time to start thinking about future travels. There are a lot of online resources that can help you plan a trip, try these for:

Mercer Outdoors also rents a wide variety of outdoors gear to students for free, so when the time comes for your trip, check our website to see if we have the gear you need. Always remember to plan your trip thoroughly, so you can practice proper Leave No Trace Principles and keep yourself safe in the outdoors.

4. Explore National Parks through free virtual tours

Visit some of our country’s most beautiful and remote places through virtual tours that use a combination of videos, voice overs and incredible Google Earth technology to make you feel like you’re actually there. The tours include:

  • Alaska’s Kenai Fjords National Park
  • Hawaii’s Volcanoes National Park
  • New Mexico’s Carlsbad Caverns National Park
  • Utah’s Bryce Canyon National Park
  • Florida’s Dry Tortugas National Park

5. Read and watch movies about the outdoors

Even if you can’t be outdoors, you can still explore nature from the comfort of your couch. Books and movies will keep you entertained, inspire some wanderlust and maybe even help you learn something new about the outdoors world. You can even watch some movies with friends while social distancing using Netflix’s Google Chrome extension, Netflix Party.

Content courtesy Mercer University Recreational Sports and Wellness. Photo by Mabel Amber from Pexels.

 

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