2020 Holidays: COVID-19 Edition: 9 ways to stay (physically or mentally) active during the upcoming months.


Samantha Jones, Reporter

As the temperatures continue to drop and the holidays are rapidly approaching, people are being left with questions about how to conduct the holidays this year and what activities are engaging, fun, and safe. Winter can be an isolating season and COVID-19 restrictions may exacerbate feelings of boredom, loneliness, and isolation. Hopefully, this short list provides you with ideas of entertaining ways to stay active during these unprecedented times.  

  1. Ice Skating. One of my favorite activities to partake in is the exhilarating sport of ice skating. Ice skating is a casual and exciting venture to participate in with either family or close friends; it can also be enjoyed by anyone at almost any age. The local ice skating rink, Frederick Skate, is operating at this time and is following strict measures to comply with CDC guidelines: mandatory mask or face cover wearing or keeping 6 feet of distance on and off the ice. Frederick Skate is also reasonably priced.
  2. Walking. The cheapest and most simple way to stay active is walking. Whether it is walking through your neighborhood, on a local hiking trail, the mall,  or just on your treadmill, walking is one of the best exercises for your body. Harvard Medical School states “it can help you stay trim, improve cholesterol levels, strengthen bones, keep blood pressure in check, lift your mood, and lower your risk for a number of diseases (diabetes and heart disease, for example) “  Those are some good reasons for me to take my dog, Roxie on an extra-long walk. Walking is also an activity that can be solo or with a group. All you need is a good pair of walking shoes and you are ready to go. A number of walking trails are open to the public such as Cunningham Falls Nature Trail in Thurmont, C&O Canal’s Billy Goat Trail in Potomac, and the famous Sugarloaf Mountain Trail.
  3. Bowling. Another inexpensive activity is bowling. My family and I love bowling together. Bowling is a group sport that people of all ages can relish in. This sport is perfect for people who don’t enjoy the cold and like participating in group activities. The closest bowling location in Frederick is Terrace Lanes. Terrace Lanes is open and is following CDC guidelines closely: mask-wearing is mandatory, besides when you are eating and it is strictly enforced, social distancing is being practiced, and distribution of bowling balls and shoes is being handled only by staff. Reservations are recommended to reserve lanes but are not required. Only five bowlers are allowed per lane.
  4. Swimming. Swimming is a wonderful way to get the whole body moving because it  incorporates all of the main muscles including the abdominals, back, forearm, shoulder, and gluteal muscles, and also the hamstrings. Swimming also strengthens and tones the body. The YMCA located in Downtown Frederick is in operation and is providing swimming classes for a variety of ages. They offer Lap Swim, Youth Swim, and Water Walking/ Aqua Jog. These classes are offered throughout the day starting from 6:00 am until 8:00 pm. Reservations are required in order to reserve a spot for any of these classes.
  5. Take a virtual fitness class. Get up and moving while you are in the house.  If you have the financial resources, consider supporting your local fitness studio or personal trainer by signing up for online fitness classes or training sessions. Plus, having a class or training session on your calendar allows you to interact with other people in a fun way, which may be just the motivation you need to keep up with your fitness regime. I have the advantage of knowing a certified yoga instructor, so my classes are scheduled on Sundays via ZOOM.
  6. Exercise to YouTube videos. If you are unable to access a virtual fitness class or classes are too expensive, the next option is going to cause your wallet to breathe a sigh of relief. From online dance to yoga to strength training to HITT classes, there are an array of classes to choose from when it comes to the online world. Youtube offers free exercise videos from various fitness channels and it is limitless when it comes to how many exercise videos you can find from indoor biking to intense ab workouts to instructional dance videos to relaxing yoga videos. They have videos for every age range. They even have videos so that the whole family can participate. At the beginning of quarantine, I watched numerous workout videos for an intense ab workout.
  7. Take a class in happiness. Yale’s “happiness” class is the university’s most popular class in its 300-year history. And to add to happiness, you can now take it online for free. If you like the idea of learning, take any one (or more) completely free classes at Coursera. Thousands of courses in Arts & Humanities, IT, Literature, Languages, etc.
  8. Have a cook fest. Collect recipes that you want to try and dedicate a day or even a weekend to cooking your way through them. My 12- year old brother recently made homemade pasta and I am still alive.

Your Parent will Love You for This: While conducting a thorough cleaning of your room may sound boring and arduous, it can lead to you feeling more organized and stress-free. A messy room including laundry scattered throughout your bedroom, smudged windows and mirrors, untidy closet, trash, and other miscellaneous items dispersed in the room can have a dampening effect on your mood and mindset. Newport Academy claims that “studies have shown that clutter produces anxiety and can make people feel depressed.” “Moreover, messiness can influence our emotions, behavior, relationships, and even our eating habits.” So, cleaning your room can lead to a better mentality and overall health. To make this impossible task easier to tackle, I suggest playing your favorite music playlist and this is also a great time to purge: pull out clothes, and shoes you no longer wear, and prep them for donation.


Academy, Newport. “Messy Room? Depression May Be the Root Cause.” Newport Academy , 3 Oct. 2019, www.newportacademy.com/resources/well-being/messy-room-depression/. 

Publishing, Harvard Health. “5 Of the Best Exercises You Can Ever Do.” Harvard Health, www.health.harvard.edu/staying-healthy/5-of-the-best-exercises-you-can-ever-do.