5 Solo or Socially Distanced Sports You Can Learn
by Alyssa Belskis
Over the past two years, people all over the world put aside their day-to-day exercise routines to focus on social distancing. However, exercising and staying active is important to maintain good health (it’s been proven to strengthen your immune system too), while helping to improve sleep and reduce stress and anxiety! Whether you’re looking to play solo or with a friend, there are numerous sports you can learn and play while still keeping a safe distance. And with the start of the new year, a good goal to set for yourself is to get active and try something new! Keep reading for five of our favorite solo or socially distanced sports you can learn, and as always, consult your doctor to be sure it’s a safe activity for you.
Even though it’s one of the lowest impact sports you can learn, swimming offers a total body and cardiovascular workout. Great for all ages and it can provide therapy for certain injuries and conditions. According to The Cleveland Clinic (https://health.clevelandclinic.org/are-pools-safe-during-covid/), as the Coronavirus is not waterborne, there is also a very low threat of it spreading in water. Swim solo to improve your technique, or grab a friend, stay 6 feet apart, and see who can do a better backstroke, breaststroke, butterfly, or freestyle! Always make sure that the environment you choose to swim in is safe; Swimmers Guide offers a helpful tool to find an indoor or outdoor pool near you: https://www.swimmersguide.com/ opens a new window
As a relatively low-impact sport, tennis is beneficial to learn at any stage of life. Not only can tennis build your arm and leg strength, but it can help improve your agility, balance, and hand-eye coordination. Grab a friend for a round of singles tennis, or 3 friends to play a game of doubles, and hit the court! As tennis courts are generally 36 feet wide, this leaves plenty of space to stay at least 6 feet apart from your partner if you opt to play a game of doubles. Check out Global Tennis Network’s website to find a court near you: https://www.globaltennisnetwork.com/tennis-courts/courts opens a new window
Causing less strain on your muscles than most other sports, cycling is another excellent sport to pick up. Cycling offers benefits to your cardiovascular health, and it also helps improve your balance and strengthen your leg muscles. Take your bicycle solo, or bike with a friend, and ride a nearby trail! If you’re unsure where the nearest bike trails are, TrailLink offers a tool to find bike trails by state opens a new window.
4. Inline Skating
As a fun option to mix up your fitness routine, inline skating is the clear winner! Even though it doesn’t feel like the usual monotonous exercise, your body will reap the health benefits that skating offers. Providing both anaerobic and aerobic benefits, it also helps to improve your posture and core muscles. Pick up a pair of skates that make you feel like a kid again, wear a helmet for safety and knee and wrist protection, and skate on any solid surface you can find! The beauty of skating is that you can either skate indoors in a roller rink, or outside down a sidewalk or any paved area. Just watch out for pedestrians, other skaters, and cars, and get rolling! Find an indoor rink opens a new window.
While it may not seem like golf offers the same physical health benefits as the aforementioned sports, it promotes its own psychological health benefits. Good mental health is equally as important as good physical health, and as a slower-paced sport, golf has been shown to improve mood and reduce anxiety. Plus, if you ditch the golf cart and walk from hole to hole, you can achieve the physical benefits from walking, carrying your golf clubs, and swinging. Whether it’s mini-golf, practicing your swing at a driving range, or playing 18 holes at a golf course, this sport can be played solo or socially distanced with friends and family. Pick up a putter, grab a golf ball, and enjoy the fresh air! Check out Golf Digest’s rankings of America’s 100 Greatest Public Courses opens a new window or check your local recreation department to find a public course near you.
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