With cold winter temperatures retreating and paving the way for sunshine-filled spring to take over Edmonton, the urge to drop everything, go outside and enjoy some fresh air is a strong one. Usually, this requires little to no thought and is barely a topic of concern. However, since our surroundings have been occupied by the uninvited guest that is COVID-19, even the smallest of activities are now anxiety provoking and stress inducing.
At Bent Arrow, we believe that a balance in the four aspects of our being – physical, emotional, intellectual, and spiritual – is crucial to achieving a state of wellness and positive development. Living in a pandemic, in many ways, has disrupted this balance for all of us. Due to the pandemic, all aspects of our health are being compromised repeatedly. Feeling stressed and even guilty about indulging in outdoor activities is a natural consequence of this imbalance.
But are we really going to give in to negative feelings and not seize the few good-weather days that Edmonton has to offer? NO WAY! Whether it be the physical activity that we are exposed to outdoors or the calm we feel listening to trees rustling in the wind, spending time outside, especially in nature, has a plethora of benefits for all 4 aspects of our well-being.
Here are some covid-19 safe, family-friendly, and economical activities you can participate in to restore a balance in your well-being this Spring:
- Going for a walk: Walking is known to boost immune function and what better a time to achieve that than in the middle of a global pandemic. You can explore your neighborhood (https://www.edmonton.ca/activities_parks_recreation/parks_rivervalley/neighbourhood-parks-alphabetical-listing.aspx), find new and interesting architectural structures and even make a game out of it for your little ones! If you are feeling adventurous you can also check out some trails (https://www.todocanada.ca/25-of-the-best-hikes-in-and-around-edmonton/) to truly be one with nature.
- Picnic with your family: Simple, but effective. The only thing that beats dinner is dinner outdoors! So what if patios are now closed, you can still enjoy fresh air and pretty sunsets in a park near your home (refer to the neighborhood park list above).
- Bird/Lime Scooter Rides: With no sign of snow, comes the flourishing season of Scooters. By the simple click of an app, you can go on an environmentally friendly ride around Edmonton. Just a friendly note to sanitize your hands (and wipe the scooter if you are able to) before and after your ride 😊 More info on scooter locations and prices: https://www.edmonton.ca/transportation/cycling_walking/bike-electric-scooter-sharing.aspx
- Visit a farmer’s market: Enjoy some local treats, handicrafts, explore the creativity around you and support your community as well as your own well-being simultaneously by visiting some of these markets: https://www.edmonton.ca/attractions_events/edmonton-farmers-markets.aspx
- Outdoor Workout: With gyms and fitness studios closed due to restrictions, this is the perfect opportunity to take your workout outside. Run on sidewalks, stretch/do yoga in the park, do stairs in the river valley (https://www.edmonton.ca/projects_plans/parks_recreation/river-valley-stairs-rehabilitation.aspx)! There are options for people of all ages and abilities 😊
- Spring/Summer Attractions: Guess who’s back, back again? Fort Edmonton Park’s back, go tell a friend! Starting in July you will be able to have a safe, socially distant taste of the renewed local attraction. More info: https://www.fortedmontonpark.ca/plan-your-visit/admission-hours.
- Adventure loving and thrill seeking Edmontonians can now also explore an all outdoors Edmonton Ghost Tour! Learn Edmonton’s history and enhance yourself intellectually in the spookiest way possible. More info: http://edmontonghosttours.com/
- The Edmonton Valley Zoo is now open with access to all its outdoor attractions. Be sure to meet Marshmallow and her daughter Ambrosia, the cutest camels in town! More info: https://www.edmonton.ca/attractions_events/edmonton-valley-zoo.aspx
- Kikosewin Rock Hunt: You can also participate in one of our own outdoor programs, to be enjoyed by your whole family! It’s as easy as 1, 2, 3, 4:
1: Go Outside
2: Look for Kikosewin painted rocks
3: Take a photo of yourself with the rock and send it to firstname.lastname@example.org
4: Be entered to win a Gift Basket with prizes
Please note that all Covid-19 restrictions and safety guidelines must be followed while doing any of the above-mentioned activities. It is only by following health guidelines that we can all get through this together.
Covid has proven to be extremely stubborn, but if the past year has shown us anything, it is that our community is more. We are stubbornly resilient: overcoming mental and physical health challenges that have consistently been thrown our way, adapting to changes in government policies and subsequently our lifestyles, and, despite all this, persistently hoping for a safer future for our loved ones. As we all face the ongoing pandemic, let us remember to prioritize our well-being and restore some balance to these uncertain times.