Take measures to stay healthy while reaping benefits of outdoor physical activity

Weather and Phase 1 present opportunity to enjoy outdoors

two men ascending a hiking trail while at least 6 feet apart

It is a good idea to still follow the social distancing recommendation of 6 feet when walking, hiking or running with others outdoors.

Take measures to stay healthy while reaping benefits of outdoor physical activity

Weather and Phase 1 present opportunity to enjoy outdoors

It is a good idea to still follow the social distancing recommendation of 6 feet when walking, hiking or running with others outdoors.

two men ascending a hiking trail while at least 6 feet apart

It is a good idea to still follow the social distancing recommendation of 6 feet when walking, hiking or running with others outdoors.

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Extension provides this information to help individuals stay safe and healthy during Phase 1 of the COVID-19 reopening, and after. 

The weather is warming up quickly across Nevada, making it a perfect time to enjoy the outdoors. Fitness experts recognize how beneficial physical activity is to mental health, especially in light of the restrictions associated with the COVID-19 pandemic. Getting outdoors is a great way to get active, synthesize vitamin D with controlled sun exposure, improve memory and concentration, and promote a general sense of wellbeing.

In order to stay healthy as we enter Phase 1 of the Governor’s reopening plan, consider the following recommendations to enjoy the outdoors safely during this COVID-19 pandemic.

Keep yourself and your family safe with good hygiene habits.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has provided the following guidance on personal hygiene prior to visiting parks or trails.

  • Cover coughs and sneezes with a tissue, then throw the tissue away in the trash.
  • Wash hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.
  • Avoid touching eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands.

Know before you go.

The National Recreation and Park Association created an infographic to share important points on how park patrons can use outdoor spaces safely.

  • Don’t use parks or trails if you’re exhibiting symptoms – stay home.
  • Be prepared for limited or no access to public restrooms or water fountains.
  • Bring hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol, since soap and water are not always available.

Practice social distancing in the outdoors.

  • Don’t use playgrounds or frequent parks that are crowded.
  • Avoid gathering with others outside of your household.
  • Carry a face mask with you in case you are unable to maintain a safe distance from others.
  • Share the trail and warn other trail users of your presence as you pass.
  • Observe the CDC minimum recommended physical distancing of 6 feet from other persons at all times.

Finally, remember to take all other precautions that you normally would when spending time outdoors, such as protecting yourself from excessive sun exposure and maintaining a safe distance between yourself and unfamiliar animals or traffic. Get outdoors, enjoy the open spaces, but remember what Gov. Sisolak said, “Let’s stay safe, to stay open.”

Aurora Buffington is an assistant professor and public health nutrition specialist at Extension, aunit of the College of Agriculture, Biotechnology & Natural Resources.

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