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While there is no shortage of enjoyable activities being put on hold until the coronavirus crisis passes, there are a number of safe, healthy and fun enhancements to sheltering in place that provide exercise, relieve stress, and get you and the kids -- or a couple of friends -- out of the house.

Taking part in dispersed activities like hiking, biking, jogging, trail running or fishing makes it relatively easy to follow social distancing practices and maintain a safe outside presence, according to Sherri Young, the health officer and executive director of the Kanawha-Charleston Health Department.

Young said participating in such outdoor activities "is good for you physically, socially and mentally," and urged parents to bring their children along when venturing outdoors to hit the trail or pump the pedals. 

"Kids need to keep up with their homework while they're out of school, but they also need that hour of activity every day," said Young.

Just keep group sizes small and stay about six feet apart while on trails, roads and streambanks, and avoid playgrounds and other park amenities where visitor use is heavier and more concentrated.

"Getting outside and into spring as the hours of daylight get longer, the temperatures get warmer and the trees begin to bloom helps release people from seasonal affective disorder, depression and anxiety," Young said.

In West Virginia, there are thousands of miles of trails to explore on more than 1.4  million acres of public land, nearly all of which remains open in spite of the presence of the coronavirus.

Reach Rick Steelhammer at, 304-348-5169 or follow @rsteelhammer on Twitter.