Bob Kellar: Staying healthy while staying home

Councilmember Bob Kellar
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We have heard the words isolation and quarantine a lot lately, and it’s easy to see how that could induce stress and major disruptions to everyday life. Although the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic has forced many of us to stay home and practice social distancing to slow the spread, please do not let that thwart you from taking part in healthy and refreshing activities within Santa Clarita.

There are many options available to you in the community.

City facilities, dine-in restaurants, gyms and more may be closed, but countless trails and paseos remain open. Taking advantage of both can result in improved mental and physical health. Walking, biking, running and hiking promote heart and lung health. Additionally, if fitness is your goal, you’ll benefit from burning calories during these forms of exercise. The mental gain from utilizing the city’s trails and paseos is a much-needed break from the news and other stresses currently impacting your life. When you engage in walking or running, your body releases endorphins that help dissolve anxieties, tension and more, while giving you greater energy throughout the day.

However, when utilizing our city’s trails and paseos, I must remind you to make social distancing a priority. Enjoy your walk or hike solo, or with members of your household, as long as you maintain at least 6 feet of distance between you and other trail users. Being mindful of this will not only help us keep city trails and paseos open, but it will also help slow the spread of COVID-19. Think of the community members, health care workers and others you are protecting when you put social distancing into action.

Before you step out, log onto HikeSantaClarita.com. Hike Santa Clarita offers maps and images of our trails and open spaces, along with important information on trail etiquette and sharing the trail with wildlife. As you peruse the site, you’ll notice that our community is home to a variety of picturesque hikes, perfect for beginners, experts and everyone in between. I also encourage you to download the Hike Santa Clarita mobile app to utilize interactive bike and trail maps while you enjoy the outdoors. You can locate and download the application in both the iTunes App Store and Google Play.

Another excellent resource for those interested in biking is BikeSantaClarita.com. The Bike Santa Clarita website also offers interactive bike maps and path images. On the site, you’ll also find suggested rides based on ratings and difficulty level. Explore the site and review bike safety recommendations to ensure that you and others are protected during your ride.

During this time, please remember that Safer At Home does not equal lockdown. Social distancing and staying home as much as possible are critical in slowing the rate of infection with COVID-19, but taking care of yourself mentally and physically is important also. Go take a hike, bike ride, or walk on a paseo! All city of Santa Clarita-operated trails and open spaces remain open until further notice.

To stay up to date on closures, updates and more related to the COVID-19 pandemic, monitor our city’s social media accounts and SantaClaritaEmergency.com.

Bob Kellar is a member of the Santa Clarita City Council and can be reached at [email protected]

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