Sports all over the nation are being cancelled or postponed due to COVID-19, but there doesn’t seem to be much talk about sports you can play while social distancing. Sure you can do individual activities, but it’s nice to know you have the option of participating in interactive activities with those you’ve been in quarantine with. So, let’s get into it.
Walking is one of the most underrated forms of exercise. Without all the breathlessness that comes with running, walking gives you time for reflection that you wouldn’t necessarily have otherwise. It’s great to get your steps in while you’re rushing to your next class, but be sure to set aside some time in the early morning or evening to spend time walking without any distractions. Counting steps is cool, but be sure you’re allowing yourself the peace and quiet of walking without expectations or deadlines. Walk with a friend and you’ll be deep into conversation before you know it. Be sure to be mindful of people passing you on the street and always maintain 6 feet or more of distance.
Okay, I’ll admit, this one can be difficult, especially if you’re an amateur roller-blader. It becomes easier the more you practice, though, so be sure to keep at it. You’ll want to invest in safety pads and a helmet, you wouldn’t want your leisurely afternoon to become a nightmare trip to the E.R. Trust me, all the falls, scrapes and bruises are worth it. Eventually, you’ll be a good enough skater that you’ll be able to skate the sidewalks of your neighborhood as you listen to your favorite musical artists.
There’s nothing like a good bike ride to alleviate some of your stress and make you feel like you’re the quirky side character in an early 2000’s comedy. Bicycles can be pricey, but if you can afford to get one, you’ll soon find yourself daydreaming as you pedal away into the sunset. Don’t daydream too much though. Keep your eyes on the road! You can schedule an early morning or evening bike ride to avoid the sweltering heat.
Ever wondered what it was like to win a national tennis championship and beat your opponent by a large margin? No? Well, I guess I’m projecting. Even if you’re not looking to win a championship match, tennis could be the perfect team sport for you and your friends. If you’re just looking to play for fun, the kind of racquet you get doesn’t really matter, so you don’t have to go all out and spend $80 on a racquet. Not only is tennis a fun sport, but it’s naturally socially distanced too—perfect for our current times.
illustration by Ren Rader
Even if you’ve never played soccer before, playing with someone in your household can be a great way to bond. You can go at your own pace and you don’t even need to have a real net. Set up your own net with objects lying around your house, and start trying to score goals! What’s great about playing with your friends is that unless they’re part of a soccer team, you’ll more than likely be on the same level. So take it at your own pace, and be mindful of social distancing if there are other people playing near you.
This is more of a mental exercise, but it is deeply underutilized. Meditation on your own can be great, but if you have a wandering mind like me, guided meditation can help keep you focused and achieve ultimate calmness. Additionally, the affirmations provided in each session can help provide you with a new framework of thinking. If you’re recovering from last week’s tennis match, take some time to work on mental exercise. You won’t regret it.