Are you worried about how to stay active during COVID-19? With favorite Houston restaurants and fitness studios closing left and right, the pause of professional sports and the rise of social distancing, the world seems to be getting smaller and people are transitioning to the work from home lifestyle. As someone who’s been working from home and staying fairly sane over the last few months. I’ve compiled some of my favorite ways to get outside in Houston that still abide by the social distancing guidelines.
Getting plenty of fresh air, sunlight and exercise are crazy helpful in maintaining a healthy lifestyle, staying sane and having fun in Houston! Check out our recommendations on how to stay active during COVID-19 in Houston.
How to stay active during COVID-19 in Houston
- Power walk to coffee. Many Houston coffee shops are still operating, but in a soley to-go format.
- Take a bike ride. If you don’t have a bike you can rent one with BCycle at most major parks. Check out this list to find the best bike trails in Houston.
- Walk through the bluebonnets. Bonus have a photo shoot! Here’s where to find bluebonnets in Houston and in surrounding Texas areas.
- Go for a hike. Sam Houston Forest is a short drive away and is still open for day visits. You can also find some good trails at Memorial Park. If you want to take a longer trip get socially distant in a canoe at Caddo Lake.
- Go for a run. There’s tons of paths and fabulous neighborhoods around Houston to explore. Try to go at off peak times of the day (like early in the morning) or mid-day during the week to avoid crowds. Here’s recommendations on where to run and where to trail run. With all fitness studios closed, no time like the present to sign up for a marathon for motivation.
- Visit the beach. Galveston is a short drive away from central Houston and is currently still open to the public.
- Have a picnic. This could be in your backyard, on your balcony, in park. Check out this post for some picnic inspo!
- Find your favorite Houston mural! Lawd knows we love murals at It’s Not Hou It’s Me. Here’s our 2020 list for you to start with.
- Walk to get to-go order at your favorite restaurant. Now is the time to be supporting local! Here’s some more ideas on how to give back to Houston businesses.
- Do a workout in a park. Pick your favorite Houston streaming studio, find a secluded spot under a tree and sweat it out outside!
Social distancing tips for Houstonians in parks
The general rule for “social distancing” says you need to stay 6 feet away from others to prevent spreading and contracting the disease. Here’s some tips to maintain that distance when being active outdoors:
- Avoid peak times in the park. The parks gets especially busy on weekends and after work from 5pm – 8pm. Try to visit popular parks early in the morning on weekends (before 9am) or during the work week during the day.
- Bring a water bottle and avoid using park water fountains.
- Time when you arrive at stop lights so there’s not a huge group of people waiting together to cross the street.
- Don’t use your hands to hit the cross walk buttons.
- Don’t use public restrooms.
- Don’t use benches, playgrounds, volleyball courts, basketball courts, or workout equipment stationed in parks.
- Avoid parks altogether and bike on roads. Houston offers a 345-mile interconnected bikeway network spanning across 500 square miles of the city. Check out this map to plan your route. With a decrease in cars on the roads as school and work is canceled, there’s a lot less traffic.
- Don’t go to see the bats in Buffalo Bayou.
Can you go outside in Houston?
According to the “Stay Home, Work Safe” announcement: “Outdoor activity is permitted such as walking, running or cycling” is permitted for Houstonians. The news is constantly changing though, so use your judgement when it comes to social distancing. Stay home when you’re sick and get your information about COVID-19 from trusted sources.
Houston COVID-19 updates
Our friends at Houston First have shared these official resources to make sure that you are receiving the most accurate and up-to-date information. As the situations are constantly changing, make sure you stay informed by legitimate government sources to keep you and your communities safe.
US Center for Disease Control
City of Houston Health Department
Harris County Health
At home workout gear
If you find yourself working out at home, consider getting a few pieces of gear to make the workouts more effective. Lots of retailers are having sales right now since their brick and mortar stores are closed. So take advantage of the online shopping deals! Here’s some things that I use when doing my daily workouts.
Shop ‘Pilates’ at home
Getting sliders for hardwood floor or tile makes a huge difference!
Shop ‘Strength’ at home
These weights range from 2lb- 15lb and come in a variety of colors!
Shop ‘Yoga’ at home
Make your own mat cleaner, or buy this one to stay fresh after a sweaty yoga session at home.