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Exercise: Get outside, but keep your distance

So your gym is closed, and you stocked up on enough non-perishable foods to last quite some time, maybe not spending as much money on the fresher, healthier stuff.

Now what? How do we stay active and healthy while sticking to the governor’s stay-at-home order?

Some local gyms have begun streaming workouts on social media, or handing out ideas for at-home exercises. That is wonderful for those feeling the withdrawal from gym life.

But for many other people, there is another solution. Get outside.

As Wood County Parks Director Jeremy Cross reminded us, the public facilities may be closed (use the restroom before you arrive), but our county and state parks are still, quite literally, open.

In fact, Gov. Jim Justice’s summary of his stay-at-home order included this line:

“Take a walk, ride your bike, hike, jog and be in nature for exercise — just keep at least six feet between you and others.”

Exercise in the fresh air and sunlight can do a world of good not just for physical health, but for mental wellbeing. Right now most of us could use a boost in both, as long as we are smart about it.

West Virginia’s county and state parks are a treasure, and most of them cover tens of thousands of acres, with plenty of trails to choose from.

“You don’t have to follow the six foot rule,” Cross said. “Make it 20 feet. Take that physical and social distancing and make it greater. You shouldn’t even be able to see another person.”

If you do, wave and give each other plenty of space. But then carry on, grateful we have an option that does not exist for million of other Americans. We can still get out and enjoy wild, wonderful West Virginia.

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