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10 Ways to Get Outside While Staying Home

April 2, 2020

There is nothing more un-Colorado than being stuck inside. The most recent Public Health Order allows for continued outdoor recreation. It is encouraged that people take the local and state stay-at-home orders seriously, and limit travel wherever possible, even for approved recreation activities. Exercise and the outdoors are “essential” at any given time. During these times of isolation, it is even more important and recommended that you get outside, get fresh air and exercise – even if we have to be a little more creative than normal.

Here are a few safe and smart ideas to get outside during the “Stay-At-Home” Orders:

10 Ways to Get Outside While Staying Home

1. Explore Parks and Trails You Haven’t Explored Before

With so many people turning to the outdoors for exercise, you may find the popular parks and trails more crowded than normal. Now is a great opportunity to explore parks and trails around your home that you haven’t been to before. We live in a state where most neighborhoods and surrounding areas have several parks and trails throughout and sometimes tucked away for you to enjoy. These less obvious areas will likely be less crowded, and you may be surprised at how many trails and parks are in your area.

Here are some great resources to find new areas:

  • Community Websites – Your town, county and neighborhood websites are a great resource to learn about all of the parks and trails in your area.
  • Your local Nextdoor app – This neighborhood hub can serve as a great resource to find out what’s around you
  • COTREX (Colorado Trail Explorer) app and website – This free app and website offers the most comprehensive trail map available for the state and is built from data from 230 trail managers.
  • Hiking Project app and website – Hiking project is a comprehensive guide to hikes near you with tips from local experts
  • Google Maps – This may seem obvious, but sometimes taking to Google Maps can help you quickly explore and learn about areas near you to visit in person
Photo: Washington Park – Denver.org

2. Visit Busier Areas During Off Time

The more popular areas, such as Washington Park, will be crowded during peak hours. Choose to visit these types of parks and areas during off-hours. Sunrise hikes, early hour exercises and a brisk walk at dusk can help you avoid the crowds and still enjoy your favorite outside space.

3. Explore Streets and Areas in Your Neighborhood You Wouldn’t Normally Visit

Similar to visiting new parks and trails in your area, this is a great opportunity to walk, run or bike the streets in your neighborhood that you may rarely venture. When stepping out of your door choose a new route to explore every day. You may be surprised by the new areas you will find!

4. Exercise in Your Yard

At-home workouts are becoming increasingly popular. Take it a step further and take it to your yard to exercise and get outside. Use the extra space to get creative with different workouts that can’t be done inside.

5. Backyard Play

Time to dust off your old volleyball net or corn hole and play a friendly game with your family. Playing some backyard games with your family will get you active and can help you spend endless hours outdoors. As the weather warms up, put your camping gear to the test and try some backyard camping.

6. Outdoor Housekeeping

Spring is right around the corner and now is a great time to start on those much needed outside housekeeping items. Clean the gutter, pull the weeds and enjoy the extra time showing some love to your outside space.

7. When the Snow Flies… 

April is still a very snowy month. Don’t let this discourage you from enjoying the outdoors! Take the time to enjoy our last snowy months and get creative to get outside when the snow flies.  You are never too old to build a snowman, a snow fort or go sledding.

8. Use the Outdoors As Your Classroom

For some that are currently homeschooling the kiddos, take to nature to be your classroom. While educational spaces like Visitor Centers are currently closed, there are several ways to enjoy and learn at the State Parks. Colorado Parks and Wildlife offers a free app, Agents of Discovery, that is an educational mobile gaming platform for augmented reality trail missions at 13 state parks. Missions in the Denver area include Barr Lake, Chatfield State Park, Cherry Creek State Park and more!

9. Create a Bucket List of Places You Want to Explore After This is Over

Mud season is almost here, and we are fast approaching summer. When you are inside, take the time to create a bucket list for your summer outdoor activities. Share with your friends and ask them to add their favorite or top bucket list items.

If you are looking for some inspiration, here are a few great outdoor activities in Golden!

Photo: Webcam of Kawuneeche Valley – NPS.gov

10. Learn About The Outdoors And New Skills Online

Although some areas, like Rocky Mountain National Park, are temporarily closed, you can still learn about and explore areas online. You can stay in touch with certain parks and virtually visit through webcams, video presentations, and blogs. This is a great opportunity to learn about local history, vegetation and animals. This is also a great opportunity to start researching an outdoor recreation activity that you have always wanted to try. Take the time to dig into all you need to know so you are prepared when the time comes.

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