Gardener ‘Shape Up’ – It’s Not A Challenge, It’s About Being Mindful

It’s January and yes it’s the time of year that many of us are revitalizing our commitment to living healthy.  Although do you ever feel January seems to run counter intuitive to this goal?  It’s colder, darker and gloomier than most other times of the year (in the Northern Hemisphere anyway) so it’s tougher to maintain that positive energy and keep yourself on track ‘livin’ the good life’ with fresh food, exercise and gusto.

Being mindful. So as I was reading about 2014 gardening trends (Garden Media Group report) and discovering ‘gardening for mindfulness’ is top of mind this year, it occurred to me that it might be nice to come together in these darker days and do more than look at seed catalogs. (Because you know, I always have a cup of hot tea when looking at seed catalogs and with that –  some cookies – 2,3,4 and it goes from there and then, you know, I’m off the track!)

How about for the next 30 days, let’s us gardeners “plan” for the 2014 growing season by getting in better shape and being mindful of our health.  In 30 days, it will be mid-February and the skies will be lighter longer and many of us will see the beginnings of new life in the garden (or at least in pots).  Thirty days is also enough time to kick bad habits and get on solid footing with good habits.

The details are simple.  Let’s commit 20 minutes of EVERY DAY to some sort of exercise (whatever you choose) where you are mindful about why you are doing it and grateful to be able to do it.  Think about how it will make you stronger, happier and more well-rounded.  (Er, maybe not the best choice of words, how about more dynamic!)  If you already exercise frequently, maybe make the commitment to do something every day or add 20 minutes more of a new activity such as stretching, meditating, simple calisthenics’ or outdoor walks.

Lastly, take another 10 minutes of your day and plan what you will eat the next day.  Make a shopping list, check food stores and plan for a bit of time to prepare it.

That’s it!  Just 30 minutes each day spent on being mindful about our health.

Who’s in?

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Not sure you can find the time?  Thirty minutes can be found in most anyone’s day, after all, we will all find 30 minutes a day to spend in our garden as soon as Spring hits.  Let’s get ourselves ready… with stronger backs, legs, forearms, increased flexibility, etc…  it will make a difference with what projects we decide to take on this season.  Feeling strong generates a ‘can do’ attitude and with that comes new creativity and accomplishment.  Even if your goals are to downsize or edit your garden this year, it still takes a strong individual to take out the overgrown clumps of perennials, the looming shrubs, old vines, etc…

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O.K., if you’re ‘in like Flynn’, join me here during the next 30 days for inspirations focused on edible gardening, exercise, healthy eating and mental well-being. And please, feel welcome to share your activities focused on being mindful about health and gardening.

Borrowing some words from fellow garden blogger, David Christiani, ( “It’s A Dry Heat.” )…  Let’s ‘Shape Up’ so we can re-shape ‘Out of Shape’ spaces come Spring!

Addendum

If you want to exercise longer, go for it!  After all, there are no limits to exercise placed on most of us right?  Any activity counts that gets the blood flowing and the mInd/body engaged, there’s no judging here. And as for planning the food, many studies show… but I think it’s common sense…that spending a small amount of time establishing what you will eat each day, helps insure good eating habits and lessens impulsive eating.  Basically, planning means more whole foods are in supply so there is less need to make a meal out of chips and salsa, toast or popcorn.  (Any of these, part of your weekly meal plan?!  I confess!) 🙂

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