Whether you’re under official shelter-in-place orders or you are simply following CDC guidelines to stay home, you might be worried about how to continue staying active during the COVID-19 outbreak. The good news is that currently, it’s still generally safe to exercise outdoors. However, you might need to take some extra precautions while doing so.

Generally, it’s okay to exercise outside.

Most shelter-in-place orders around the nation are modeled after the San Francisco Bay Area, which advised individuals that it is safe to walk, run, or take a bike ride for your mental and physical wellness. The catch? You will probably only have access to trails and walkways in your own neighborhood. Many public parks and trails are closed to limit crowding in these areas. So, plan your workout close to home.

When you do venture outside for a workout, maintain your distance from others who might be outside—use about two arm lengths as a minimum guideline. You may also choose to wear a face mask or scarf to cover your mouth and nose. Avoid touching surfaces outside or using public facilities like park bathrooms or drinking fountains. In addition, it’s also a good idea to leave shoes outside after a workout, wash your hands immediately when you return home, and change your clothes right away.

You can get plenty of physical activity at home too.

For higher-risk individuals, it may not be safe to leave home at all, even for a walk around the block. But you don’t need much space or equipment to exercise at home. Jumping jacks, pushups, squats, leg lifts, and sit-ups are all easy to do with little space and no extra equipment. You might also get a little creative to get moving—give your house a deep clean, put on your favorite album and dance, or run up and down the stairs to get your heart rate up.

Exercise is essential for your health, but everyone has unique physical activity needs. To do what’s right for your body, check in with a doctor through MeMD’s telehealth services. We can connect you with a medical provider anytime, day or night, without ever leaving home.

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