Outdoor activities to enjoy with your dog

Are you using your newfound COVID-19 alert level freedom for good, yet? One way to explore being back outside is with your dog. 

If you’re worried about being out in public, we don’t blame you. But the prospect of outdoor fun to get away from work, people, and the hustle and bustle of daily life, should help push that fear aside. Besides, it’s safer and easier to social distance outside. 

Here are a few outdoor activities you can do safely observing social distancing, and have fun doing it! 

1: Get Fit 

Exercising is a great way to keep your immune system strong! You could exercise at home, but being out in the fresh air has its own health benefits. 

Not only is the scenery a welcome break from the same old view on the treadmill, but research has shown that exercising outdoors can lower cortisol levels, increase levels of good hormones like dopamine and serotonin, calm the mind by grounding us to the earth, and lead to improved sleep. 

A short run or cycle would be a great way to start. You can run with your mask down if there’s nobody else around, but remember to pull it up again when you pass someone on the street. 

Other options include calisthenics, jumping rope, or doing some yoga in the park. Get creative with your fitness and take it outside! 

2: Clean Up 

Lockdown definitely helped make our cities cleaner for a while, but litter and pollution are still a problem in many of our towns. 

If you’ve already done your exercise for the day and don’t feel like just taking a pointless walk, why not make a clean-up effort? 

Take a couple of plastic bags with you and fill them up as you walk. You’re not only getting some fresh air and physical exercise, but you’re doing some good for your town, too. 

3: Bond With Your Dog 

Most of the time, between work, family, and other things life throws at us, we can fall into the trap of neglecting our furry friends. This is the perfect time to bond with them - we don’t need to social distance from them! 

Take your pup for a walk on the leash, spoil them with a new toy, or spend time grooming and bonding with them. 

Just remember - you’ll need to keep this up when life goes back to normal, too. A dog is a lifetime commitment, not just a Covid commitment! 

4. Make Safer Choices: The Three Cs 

Whatever you choose to do outside, there are ways to make sure you can stay safe. There’s no need to avoid scary situations - all you need to do is make better choices and avoid the three Cs

Crowded Places 

Going out? Stick to spacious! 

You can’t avoid people in a crowd. When you’re in a crowded place, you’re exposed to many people, some of whom may not be wearing their masks properly, and others who might not be taking enough care to wash their hands. 

Avoid crowded places where you can’t socially distance yourself. If you’re worried about missing out on the fun, remember that you’ll be missing out on potential germs too! 

Close-Contact Settings 

Just like what we’ve mentioned above, it’s best to stay away from situations where you’ll be required to be in close contact with someone (unless you’re living in the same household). 

Crowded public transport, group activities, or anything that requires being closer than usual, physical touch, or exchanging of items should be avoided. 

Confined Spaces 

It may seem difficult to stay away from confined spaces, but there are ways to do so. For example, take the stairs instead of the lift. Get an Uber instead of taking the bus! 

If you’re stuck in a small space, you can’t get away if you find yourself in an uncomfortable situation. Give yourself space - for your own good, and that of others. 

The Bottomline

Staying safe doesn’t mean you have to avoid leaving the house. With just a little bit of planning, you can get your outdoor fix while staying safe and sound at the same time. Take it outside! 

About the Author

Mike Powell is a passionate dog parent hailing from Los Angeles. He loves providing comprehensive, accessible dog information on his website, Dog Embassy.

Photo courtesy of Joe Eats World

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