According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), outdoor activities are still safer to take part in than indoor activities due to COVID-19.1 Though, with chilly weather settling in in many regions, this may mean changing some of our go-to adventures. Luckily, fall and winter bring a host of new opportunities to enjoy the great outdoors. Here, we suggest some fun seasonal outdoor activities and discuss the potential health benefits of getting outside in any weather.
4 Outdoor Activities for Fall and Winter During COVID-19
Finding new ideas for outdoor activities during COVID-19 can be difficult. This fall and winter, refresh your appreciation for the great outdoors by leaning into seasonal fun. Check out local state parks, mountains, nature preserves, and community offerings to see what’s available in your area during these seasons, and use the following ideas for inspiration.
1. Nature Walks or Hiking
Whatever your exercise level may be, activities like walking and hiking give you the benefits of movement, as well as the beauty of nature.2 In many areas, autumn is the peak season for hiking, providing vibrant fall foliage and cooler weather. While winter may bring a further drop in temperatures, it also provides quieter trails and potential snowy vistas — just remember to bundle up.
2. Have a Picnic
If you’re looking for a fun way to socialize and enjoy the outdoors, a picnic is a relaxed option for taking in the beauty of your local area as it changes from fall to winter. Hosting an outdoor picnic is a great way to get together with friends while also staying socially distant, and is noted by the CDC to be a safer activity than eating indoors.1
3. Find a Farmers Market
No matter your climate, the changing seasons may bring a bounty of new produce to enjoy. Browsing an outdoor farmers market is a great way to grab some healthy fall and winter offerings and support local businesses, all while avoiding indoor areas.
4. Winter Sports
If you live in an area that enjoys snow, you may have access to a host of cold-weather athletic options. From skiing and snowboarding to ice skating, these outdoor winter activities provide a great reason to bundle up and stay active. For a less intensive option, consider snowshoeing or cross-country skiing.
Reasons to Get Outside
With COVID-19 community transmission rates remaining high for many Americans, according to CDC data, many of us may feel more comfortable sticking to activities out in the open air — even if that air’s gotten a bit colder.3 If you’re looking for a little more motivation, here are some additional perks:
Many outdoor activities naturally promote physical movement, and exercise at any level can support good health.2 The CDC offers ample data about the benefits of physical activity; reduced risk of cardiovascular disease, weight management, and improved brain health to name a few.4
Exposure to Nature
Additionally, according to the American Psychology Association, spending time in nature offers potential mental health benefits like:
- Improved attention
- Lower stress
- Enhanced mood
- Reduced risk of psychiatric disorders
- Upticks in empathy and cooperation
Enjoy all the great outdoors has to offer this season and help support a healthy lifestyle.5
Know Your Testing Options
No matter what kind of seasonal activities you’re partaking in, efficient COVID-19 testing can help you adventure with confidence. When you receive a laboratory order from your healthcare provider, ask about BioReference Laboratories.
- Participate in Outdoor and Indoor Activities | CDC