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CHRIS MOORE — We should continue to stay active after the pandemic

At this time last year, we were deep into the pandemic. People were avoiding large crowds and coming up with innovative ways to entertain themselves as well as keeping mentally sharp.

It seemed as though more people were outside. More people were walking, riding bikes or simply enjoying beautiful days.

That is one aspect of the pandemic I believe we should keep. Being outside is great for one’s mental wellbeing. Even if we aren’t outside, staying active can help reduce stress.

Our area has plenty of parks and places to walk or ride bikes.

Of course, one needs to take precautions during Texas summers. Be sure to wear sunscreen and stay hydrated. If you are going swimming, please make sure to be as safe as possible.

Being outdoors also fosters some sense of community. I can’t count the amount of times I saw neighbors strolling by and gave them a friendly wave. They are people I might not see otherwise, given that we are moving towards being isolated in our homes more often.

Small gestures like waving and giving a head nod can give people a sense of belonging and ownership of the neighborhood.

If it is raining or you just don’t feel like being outside, there are plenty of indoor options. There are city recreational centers and the YMCA. There are also plenty of local businesses that offer activities.

For those looking for something more routine, there are adult leagues for several sports in the area.

While those can come with a cost, it is absolutely free to bring a basketball to a public court and start a pickup game. If it helps, find a friend to come along. It is usually easier to get up and get active when someone else is either pushing you or simply waiting on you to show up.

Now for a look behind the curtain as I break the fourth wall or whatever the written equivalent is.

The real reason I am writing this is because I played several hours of washers two weekends ago and was feeling it the next day. I had tightness in my legs from playing washers at 30 years old. This column is really me telling myself I need to get in better shape and encouraging anyone else that was looking for a sign to get started.

The pandemic was a horrible time, but I think we collectively did some good during it. While it is easy to slip back into our old ways, I like seeing everyone out and about, and I believe we should keep doing so.

See you outside.

Chris Moore is the sports editor for Port Arthur Newsmedia. He can be reached at chris.moore@panews.com.