Lately, between COVID-19 restrictions and the hot, humid weather, many of us have been spending way too much time indoors. People are working from home, taking classes at home, and binge-watching their favorite television shows for hours at a time. But, it’s still important to get out, stay active, and breathe in some fresh air. In order to stay fit and healthy, our bodies need to move. One way to do this is to walk.

We’re fortunate to live in an area with an abundance of beautiful outdoor spaces. There are tree-lined streets with sidewalks all over town, plus municipal and county parks nearby. If you would rather hike than walk, trails can be found all throughout the Watching Reservation. The only equipment you need is a good pair of sneakers or hiking boots.

Walking is a great way to enjoy nature either alone or with family, while easily staying socially distant. If you have a pedometer, even better. Set goals to ensure you get those steps in, and increase those goals as often as you can. 

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Whether you’re taking a short walk around a park or a longer trek through the mountains, there are some important items to bring along. Water, of course, is number one on the list. It’s critical to stay hydrated while doing any form of exercise. Sunscreen, bug spray, and/or some kind of tick repellent are necessary as well. For longer walks, it’s also a good idea to bring along some healthy snacks.

Your heart will benefit from the activity, while your mind will appreciate the change of scenery. And, you can save that binge-watching for rainy days.

The Scotch Plains Rescue Squad is a volunteer organization of Neighbors Helping Neighbors.  With over 90 volunteers, we answer calls not only in Scotch Plains but in surrounding towns as well when needed.  Besides answering calls, you will see our ambulances at many special events held in town. For more information, or to join our organization, please go to scotchplainsrescuesquad@gmail.com or call (908) 322-2103 (non-emergencies only).

Contributing author Susan Baldani is a life member of the Scotch Plains Rescue Squad.