In the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic many public health officials continue emphasizing the importance of socially distancing ourselves from others, and mask wearing. However, as humans we crave socialization to keep ourselves sane during these stressful times. Studies have shown that isolation and few social interactions can negatively affect overall health and lead to depression, obesity, and high blood pressure. So how does one improve their social health during a pandemic? Try these social activities that you can do while practicing social distancing.
Swimming: Not only is swimming a great way to stay cool during the summer heat, but also a great way to be active and gain the many benefits of swimming. Unlike most sports and activities, swimming with a friend can be done six feet apart or in separate lanes and proper aquatic disinfectants should kill the virus that causes COVID-19.
Fishing: There’s nothing better than the great outdoors, and enjoying nature with a friend makes it even more enjoyable. Fishing is a great way to benefit your health, and an even better way to practice social distancing, whether you and a friend are six feet apart on a dock or in two separate boats, fishing is a great way to socialize from a distance.
Skating: It doesn’t matter if you’re on a skateboard, scooter, or roller blades skating is a great way to social distance and enjoy the company of friends and family. See our more in depth articles on the top 10 health benefits of roller skating and how you can benefit from it while social distancing
Golfing: A classic spring or summer activity like golf can be enjoyed with friends either at a driving range or on a golf course. Golfing is also one of those sports that does not require close contact with others, so go out and experience the benefits of golf, enjoy the company, and social distance!
Ping pong: Did you know that an average ping pong table is nine feet long? Lucky for you six feet is the ideal length for social distancing. Ping Pong not only has many physical health benefits, but it’s also a great way to exercise and socialize during social distancing.
Tanning: Make the most of this summer and gain the benefits of sun exposure by sitting out in the sun with a friend. Before going out in the sun see our top 10 ways to prevent sunburn, and then go out and enjoy the summer sun with good company at a distance.
Paddle Boarding: Take a trip to the lake with some friends and practice social distancing on the water! A great outdoor sporting activity like paddle boarding can benefit your health in many different ways, and can also be a great social distancing activity.
Playing Catch: Whether you’re throwing a football, baseball, or tossing around a frisbee among friends, playing a simple game of catch is a great way to be outside, active, and practice social distancing.
Hiking: Connect with friends and with nature on a beautiful hike through the woods or mountains. Hiking is a great way to better your health and an even better way to stay active and stay close with friends through a distance. Be sure to hydrate yourself consistently and stay six feet apart.
Yoga: Next time you plan on doing some yoga try inviting a friend and place your yoga mat six feet apart. The benefits of yoga are significant for your health, and they can be even better with a friend. For some exercise ideas see our article on 10 home exercises that you can do with a yoga mat (or towel).
Badminton: A great summer activity for kids and adults like badminton can have its benefits and the rules of the game also imply social distancing. A simple yet intense game of badminton isn’t just a physical activity, but also a great way to socialize with friends.
Hammocking: Climb a tree and place you and your friends hammock six feet apart to completely take in what nature has to offer. Hammocking can also provide many health benefits, and can allow you and your friends to hang out (literally) while practicing social distancing.
Picnic: Did you know that a simple picnic can benefit your health? On top of the health benefits, having a picnic can allow you to share a meal with some friends, enjoy the outdoors, and a great way to practice social distancing. Also see our article on some healthy Trader Joe products for your social distancing hangouts.
Cornhole: As you finish up your healthy picnic meal, a game of cornhole is a great way to interact and enjoy the company of your friends. Many don’t see the benefits that cornhole can offer, but in reality a game of cornhole is great for your mental health and a fun way to social distance.
Dog Walking: Take care of your health and your dog all at once, and catch up with a friend as a bonus! The benefits of including your dog in workouts can be even better when adding a friend and their dog. Next time you plan a socially distant doggy date with your friend, see our article on workouts that you can do with your dog.
Billiards: A classic game that’s typically found in small bars and pubs can also be a fun at home game that can be done while social distancing. The health benefits of this fun, friendly, and relaxing game is a great way to be active with friends without being too close to each other.
Stargazing: During these difficult times it’s easy to forget the simple things that we can do to keep ourselves sane, and the simplicity of looking up at the stars with a friend can be therapeutic and good for your health. Because of how simple stargazing is it’s an amazing way to practice social distancing with friends and family.
Painting: The best thing about painting is that everyone can gain the benefits of painting anywhere they want. Whether your indoors or outdoors, painting can be a fun and relaxing experience to do with your best friend at a distance.
Tennis: The best way to experience anaerobic and aerobic exercise is through tennis. It’s also one of those sports that you can enjoy with your friends without having to be in close contact, making it a great way to better your health and social distance.
Horseback riding: If you have the opportunity to go horseback riding, invite a friend as it is a tremendous way to not only improve your health, but also practice social distancing in the outdoors. Also see our article on the top destinations to go horseback riding.