Americans have been suffering from the pandemic for over two years now. With the widespread vaccination efforts, people who have been fully vaccinated and have had their booster shots can now break free to pursue various activities in the open air. According to a study by battleface among 2,001 respondents from July 2 to 9, 2021, 73 percent wanted to travel up to 2022 for outdoor adventures.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) issued an update on March 1 stating that masking is now only required indoors in areas with high Covid-19 transmission, which now make up only 30 percent of the country. Masking is still required within public transport and transportation hubs. For Americans who intend to travel abroad, there are country classifications regarding the level of transmission and risk. This means that fully vaccinated Americans can choose to travel to low-risk areas domestically or internationally and go unmasked in outdoor activities where there is no crowding.
Fun for All
Not all outdoor adventures are doable for everyone. Very young children, the elderly, people with disabilities, and people with certain conditions, such as adults with scoliosis or osteoarthritis, must keep to activities that will not be harmful to them. There are many laid-back outdoor activities to choose from.
A leisurely walk through a green park, the woods, the lakeside, a riverbank, or the beach will be a refreshing break for everyone. Hikes across low hills with gentle slopes can also be managed by most. These are likewise opportunities for bird watching and nature photography.
Camping is a great way to extend this activity. Setting up tents, cooking outdoors, and gazing at the night sky away from urban lights is always a delightful experience. If the campsite is near a river or lake, fishing can be added to the activities.
Those who prefer the sea can combine camping with boating and fishing or sailing. Seaside resorts also offer various water activities that are safe for all ages, such as snorkeling and a banana boat ride, provided all safety precautions are observed. On the sand, a game of beach volleyball can be played.
For the land-bound, golfing is an activity that can also be taught to children. The greenery of a golf course is very peaceful, and the game is not strenuous. It also provides a lot of exercise from walking, though.
Adults who seek more vigorous or more thrilling experiences also have many to choose from. For instance, mountain climbing can become a serial activity, conquering one mountain after another. While mountaineering usually takes place amid forested mountains, canyoneering is done in beautiful canyons naturally cut out of rock. Both require skills for surviving in the wild, navigation, and various types of climbing including descending and rappelling. They require gear such as climbing hardware and special ropes. Mountains and canyons have varying levels of difficulty to climb and there are routes for beginners as well as unscaled routes for advanced climbers.
In areas that have cliffs and deep pools of water, people do cliff diving, as well. Some mountains have rough rivers rushing downward that are perfect for whitewater rafting. There are mountains that are tropical and mountains of ice. The latter are even more challenging due to the temperature.
Surfing giant waves is another exhilarating adventure for the brave. There are beaches for beginners to learn in and beaches with waves higher than 20 meters. When the sea is calm, water skiing is an option. Some people do barefoot water skiing. Underwater, scuba diving offers a view of a different world.
When outdoors, the sky beckons. Amateurs can go skydiving or paragliding with an instructor. Bungee jumping also provides the same free-flying feeling. A ride on a hot air balloon is slower but can offer more picturesque scenery. A more controlled version is parasailing which is like a parachute ride but towed by a boat or a land vehicle. Riding a high zip line over a long distance is also exciting.
Mental and Physical Benefits
Breathing in the fresh air and basking in the sunlight while being active are highly beneficial to physical health. The muscles are revitalized, the lungs and heart are worked out, and vitamin D is replenished. Sunshine also helps regulate the body’s circadian rhythm to improve the quality of sleep. It is during deep sleep that cells heal and regenerate, and beneficial hormones are released. All these also benefit mental health. Stress, irritability, depression, and anxiety are reduced.
More and more people will be going out to enjoy nature. This will also be beneficial to society as the general well-being of the population will increase. It will strengthen the immune system and, hopefully, bolster the people’s defenses against Covid-19.