Amidst the current pandemic, many people have taken the time to go out on walks or jogs, but law enforcement has established some rules to safeguard their experience and prevent the further spread of COVID-19. Although regulations have been set in place, people should still take precautions when leaving their homes in order to ensure the safety of one’s well being.
Walking alone on a trail could be dangerous, especially during these difficult times. For example, ABC 10 News reported on April 3 that a woman named Sharissa Sosa went on a run at Sweetwater Regional Trail and encountered a man wearing a surgical mask, who pointed a gun at her head. Sosa ran the other way to escape the man while screaming.
“[I] built up a lot of energy with COVID-19. [So it] made sense to go outside and get some fresh air. We made eye contact and nodded at each other. The moment I turned around, the same guy with brown pants, hoodie and mask was coming at me with the gun, pointing it to my head. He’s walking really fast toward me and said ‘Get down, get down!'” said Sosa.
Besides protecting oneself from COVID-19, there are ways to stay safe while hiking anytime. According to the California Department of Parks and Recreation some tips on how to stay safe while hiking include “walking with a family member, taking plenty of water, letting someone at home know where you are hiking and when you plan to come home.” stated by the California Parks and Recreation
In some states, they are keeping parks open to let people walk. New York City’s park commissioner Mitchell Silver recommends taking advantage of a large number of parks and that spending time outdoors can boost the immune system and reduce stress.
“For the most part, the activity, along with walking, may be one of the only safe and healthy things people can do outside the home — even while social distancing and, in some cases, during a self-quarantine,” reports Senior Health Reporter, Anna Medaris Miller.
In Los Angeles County, public officials have started to reopen parks and trails. According to Los Angeles Parks and Recreation, some of the rules while on the trails are “To keep 6 feet apart always. Everyone needs to be wearing a face-covering on the trail or parking lots or anywhere there are other groups of people and bring water, hand sanitizer, or disinfecting wipes to wash or sanitize hands frequently.” stated Los Angeles Parks and Recreation.
This is a trying time both physically and mentally. Exercising during quarantine can improve mental health and promotes good physical health. Exercise can help with depression, anxiety, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), ADHD, stress and trauma as reported by the Professors at Help Guide.
“Exercise is a natural and effective anti-anxiety treatment. It relieves tension and stress, boosts physical and mental energy, and enhances well-being through the release of endorphins. Anything that gets you moving can help, but you’ll get a bigger benefit if you pay attention instead of zoning out,” Professors at Help Guide said.
Overall, people should go on walks or exercise in general during these times but also take safety precautions while doing so cause it won’t just save their lives but helps others stay safe during these times.