Here are six sports that you can still do during Germany’s November lockdown

Here are six sports that you can still do during Germany's November lockdown
An amateur tennis session. Photo: DPA
With most sporting facilities and fitness studios closed for the month of November, many of us have been thrown out of our sporting rhythm. Here are a few suggestions on how you can keep yourself fit during the lockdown.

Although the lockdown was agreed upon by all of the federal states, this being Germany, things are always a little bit more complicated.

The wording of the rules on lockdown allows room for interpretation. Bavaria has chosen to interpret the rules as strictly as possible, only allowing use of sports facilities for professional athletes and reducing even jogging to a maximum of two people. But most of the other states have allowed more wiggle room so that you can still get a bit of exercise with friends.

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Outdoor swimming

Yes, it’s true, swimming in lakes might not seem like the most enticing idea in November. But if you invest a bit of money in a triathlon-style wetsuit, you can keep practising your crawl into the colder months of the year.

READ ALSO: How living in Germany turned me into an athlete

And, with the sun out at the start of November, the water temperature in Berlin's Slachtensee is currently an unusually warm 12.6 degrees Celcius.

Outdoor swimming in winter is best done with a wetsuit. Photo: DPA 

Some even claim that swimming in cold temperatures is good for your immune system – but the scientific jury is still out on this point.

If you go swimming at this time of year though you have an excellent reason to leave the house, and you will most likely have the lake all to yourself.

Kayaking

If taking a dip just isn’t your thing at this time of year, various other forms of water sport are still allowed in most federal states, as long as you do them in pairs or with members of your own household.

For instance, if you are a member of a sailing club you can still go sailing. Finding a kayak rental shop that is open in the winter is a bit trickier, but many of them do rent out their equipment all year round.

If you do a bit of digging in your region, you are sure to find one that is still open (clue: type in Kanuverleih in meiner Nähe into your search engine).

Jogging

Scientists in the UK have suggested that vitamin D deficiency could lead to stronger symptoms of the coronavirus. Deficiency of the vital vitamin is particularly pronounced in the winter when we don’t get enough sunshine.

So going out jogging on a nice sunny afternoon has more benefits than just making sure your lungs would still pass their TÜV.

Jogging is still allowed during lockdown. Photo: DPA

If you promise yourself to pick a new jogging route every day, you will also end up discovering parts of your city that you’ve never seen before.

To note here: in Bavaria you are not allowed to go jogging with a member of another household, you can only them for a walk. In other states though you can go jogging with a friend as long as you remember to socially distance.

Tennis

Although the national lockdown affects all sports facilities, tennis courts seem to be an expedition. According to the website mytennisinfo.de Bavaria is the only state that has completely banned the racket sport.

If you play with one partner or double between two households you can still play a good game of tennis. The only thing to be aware of though is that you are not allowed to use the changing facilities. So turn up ready to play!

Hiking

There is nothing in the new lockdown rules that stops you from driving out to a scenic spot in the hills and hiking for the day. With sunny weather forecast for the coming weekend, now might be the time to pack your walking boots back out of the cupboard and plan a trip to the hills.

The only thing to be aware of is that you’ll have to set off early to make sure you are back home in the evening. Campsites are closed and hotels and youth hostels across the country are not allowed to rent rooms to tourists.

Yoga & pilates

Some studios offer online courses during lockdown. Photo: DPA

You can’t visit a yoga studio over the coming month, that much is certain. But there is nothing to stop you rolling out your yoga mat at home and perfecting that downward looking dog.

READ ALSO: 'It's important that people stay active': How a Munich fitness studio evolved online during the corona crisis

What’s more, several yoga studios in Germany have started offering long distance learning, where you book a whole course and learn how to perfect your positions online.

So when the studios open up again you can go back in without having to rub the rust off your joints for the first few sessions. As an added plus, you can practice your German – at least as it pertains to backbends and downward dog poses.

All photos: DPA


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