Some actions are just automatic, getting up at the crack of dawn to put your running shoes on so you can join your equally weird friends in the pitch black at the local park, is one.
I have been doing this now on and off for 9 years with Step into Life Kensington Gardens. A pandemic changes everything, including outdoor exercise. The reason outdoor fitness is popular is because by its very nature it’s done in nature, where you get fresh air, watch the sun rise or set, as the case maybe, have greater exposure to vitamin D, burn more calories due to temperature regulation especially in the cooler months.
Local indoor fitness centres and gyms are closing, shutting doors due to Government restrictions, in Australia that happens today 24th March 2020.
Yoga studios are moving in the same direction and moving to on-line virtual classes where your downward dog is likely shared with your dog or cat in the comfort of your own home.
Outdoor exercise in a public park in Australia is still open to everyone, it’s fast becoming a different story in New York where it is quoted “Of people who are carrying on life as usual, he said, “It is insensitive, arrogant, self-destructive, disrespectful to other people, and it has to stop, and it has to stop now.” #stopthespread
Here in Australia we can still enjoy group exercise as long as we follow the guidelines set out by the state and federal governments. Outdoor exercise is still permitted with self distancing measures being adhered, that is 1.5m between people.
This might explain why on my regular walk / run the other day there were considerably more people out on the oval exercising – the penny dropped, the gyms are shut and the PT’s have taken their clients “outside”.
I have always exercised, it is part of my DNA and I am pretty sure my fellow SIL (Steppers or Step into Life) friends are the same. Our outdoor exercise group not only provides physical activity but also much needed social interaction, mental support and general friendship bonds that become increasingly more difficult to forge as we age.
Recently there have been cancer diagnosis, house sales, house purchases, sick children the normalities of life and as an outdoor group we share these things and help each other through. It is really important whilst we physically ‘isolate’ to maintain good mental health practice, and for me that includes putting those running shoes on at the crack of dawn and meeting my group in the park.
So here are the rules for outdoor exercise, bring your own mat, exatube, weights and box gloves. Maintain a 1.5m distance from others and keep your waterbottle and personal belongings in a separate bag. Wash your hands before and certainly after your workout. Carry hand sanitiser and don’t share workout equipment.
You can maintain your exercise regime, and you can attend fitness classes outdoors. As they say in the army, just practice CDF. I’ll let you google that one.