10 ways to stay active during the COVID-19 outbreak, according to UpaDowna

Photo: Getty Images

As news about COVID-19 continues to break, many people are switching up their typical routines in order to live safer amid the outbreak. Living safer doesn’t necessarily mean you have to live a less active lifestyle.

I caught up with Randi Hitchcock, Executive Director of non-profit UpaDowna, to ask her what types of adventurous activities she recommends for times like these. The organization has been promoting the slogan “ CORAD-20” to encourage their fans to stay active and stay healthy during 2020 in spite of COVID-19.

Editor’s Note: Currently, there’s not a recommendation to avoid the outdoor space. This may be subject to change. There is a social distancing recommendation. Please follow all official guidelines from the CDC and your local public health department.

Here are a few of my favorites from the UpaDowna list (for their full list, click here):

1. Watch an outdoorsy movie

I know, this one will probably kick your FOMO to the max, but it can also help you get your outdoorsy fix and plan for your next adventure. Here’s a link to a few of my favorite flicks. I’d also recommend that you follow the UpaDowna Facebook page for updates on upcoming online editions of their “Adventure on Tap” lecture series.

2. Take up bird watching

Colorado has a fascinating birding scene and information about these birds can be easily found online or via a number of smartphone applications. Try to identify birds from your home or from an uncrowded trail following “social distancing” recommendations from the CDC. One of my favorite birds to spot in Colorado Springs is the Steller’s Jay – known for its bright blue body and black head.

3. Hike the “trail less traveled”

We all know about “that trail,” the one you usually avoid because it’s just not as exciting or it’s a bit out of the way. Head to that trail amid the COVID-19 outbreak instead of the popular hiking spot you usually hit.

4. Find a spot to paint

Have you ever painted for the sake of painting? Go find an isolated natural spot in nature and set-up shop with your brush and canvas. As an added bonus, painting can have stress-relieving benefits. You’ll return home feeling rejuvenated and like you’ve had a full day. Tip: Add paint supplies to your next essential Walmart trip for groceries to avoid visiting a second store.

5. Get your yoga on(line)

Another activity known to reduce stress, you can skip crowded spaces without skipping yoga – even if you’re a beginner. Find a number of great and diverse classes on Youtube. Conduct your own personal class in your living room or find an isolated spot outside.

Youtube also has a number of other workout classes sure to get your heart pumping. One of my all-time favorites is the decades-old “ 8-minutes abs.”

6. Hit the dog park

According to WHO, pets can’t pass COVID-19 to their human companions. This means that your pup is a great outbreak companion. Take them to their favorite outdoor places for a little one-on-one time at spots like the dog park. Remember: Follow best practices of social distancing. If the dog park is crowded and you’re not able to get plenty of space, move along.

7. Work to revamp your diet & picnic with your healthy food

With less to do during the COVID-19 outbreak, you might have a lot more time on your hands. Use it to be productive by learning or honing a skill. Consider trying a few new recipes with a healthy diet prioritized. Healthy habits formed during COVID-19 can continue on to help you stay healthy for the rest of 2020.

Bonus points if you eat your healthy food while enjoying the outdoors. Have a picnic in your own front yard to let yourself catch some vitamin D.

8. Catch a fish

A sport that’s known for often being a solitary experience, fishing is a great way to pass some time without human contact. Plus, you might just catch some dinner. Make sure to follow proper licensing rules and local laws prior to casting a line.

9. Hit the sledding hill

If it happens to snow again (and there’s currently up to 18 inches on the way to parts of the state), hit the sledding hill – just always slide solo.

10. Tackle a “Freddie the Yeti” adventure

One way that UpaDowna raises awareness about their organization (which aims to remove barriers of access for all in the outdoor space), is by encouraging their fans to take photographs of Freddie the Yeti in an awesome Colorado spot. Share it with them and there’s a chance they’ll share it on their social media pages. Find your own Freddie the Yeti here.

Bonus: Clean your room

This one isn’t outdoorsy and it’s not that fun, but if you’re stuck home, consider deep-cleaning your living space. Germs, dust, and dirt left laying around can have a negative impact on your health.

Tips from UpaDowna:

If you choose to adventure amid the outbreak:

  • Seek out lesser known (less-frequented) places to adventure
  • 6ft away, especially from individuals who may be sick
  • Avoid enclosed areas
  • Avoid touching handrails or using facilities
  • Take hand sanitizer just in case
  • Wash hands well when you get home
  • Buy local
  • Follow all guidelines from the CDC and local health organizations. These are constantly changing.
  • For a full list of “ CORAD-20” tips and recommendations from UpaDowna, click here.

    Stay safe, stay healthy, and follow best practices in preventing additional spread of COVID-19.

    Editor’s Note: UpaDowna is a local Colorado Springs-based non-profit focused on removing the barriers of access to the outdoor space for all. Find more about them here. OutThere Colorado regularly partners with the organization for events such as the monthly trail clean-up.


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