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?


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…


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!


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!) 🙂


16 thoughts on “Gardener ‘Shape Up’ – It’s Not A Challenge, It’s About Being Mindful

  1. What a great idea, count me in! I actually started today with some toning exercises I saw in a magazine, because it was so dark and wet outside. Cookies are another story however….

  2. Okay – well now that picture of the “garden on” fork is one of the coolest pictures I gave seen in a while. Oh my gosh – so funny. and my hubby and I have a small running joke- whenever I am mentioning “heavy metals” in the body – which comes up because sometimes I talk nutrition to people and all that – well being the musician that he is – well when the phrase heavy metal come sup – he makes that sign with his hand and says, “yeahhhhh…” (get it – “heavy metal…” ha ha) –

    anyhow, I also like how you link your idea starters in some of your posts (gives us a chance to see the source if we so desire).

    and for my daily exercise, what has changed my life has been my recumbent bike…. and I learned a big lesson recently – to NOT go over 50 to 60 minutes – because on zealous days I would sometimes ride for 100+ minutes, but then would not be up to riding for a couple days – which would then flow off overall momentum, etc. So I have more consistency when I keep it to under an hour.

    also, if anyone is looking for a great yoga resource, last year I stumbled on some yoga shows by Adrienne Reed and this is the BEST yoga program I have ever come across! something for everyone – and the 15 to 20 minute shows (which I found on ION, but I think can be accessed on her site now) well they offer something for everyone and have many different levels.

    Finding this show was an answer to prayer because there are so many options out there and it is hard to find the gems – or hard to find yoga for the average person who doe snot want to be a guru – and well a few of her episodes are my fav (airplanes, flow, and forward folds version I) and the mild stretches sometimes feel as good as a massage (especially the forward folds for easy hamstring strength and care!!)

    In closing, I will join you in this 30 day challenge to add 20 minutes “of something” for mindful living – I just have to decide what mine will be – and when I do – I will be back to share…
    thanks for a nice post!

    1. Yes, I loved that pic too. And yes, sometimes I overdo it too but if you exercise quite a bit, it is easy to sometimes get carried away. I’m trying to focus on more than just getting my heart pounding and pay more attention to everything else. I like your suggest for the public television yoga channel. I may refer to it in an upcoming post! Thanks!

  3. I have been adding meditation for 10 minutes daily since Nov. And as I started my new exercise routine for another 10 minutes, I have already been sidetracked as I just had a nasty virus. So I will pick it back up soon. As far as diet, that has been taken care of for me as my acupuncturist insists I eat a certain way if I am to regain my health. Besides my body is revolting when I eat anything not good for it.

    So I am in and will report out how it has gone. Oh and I am keeping a journal of my exercise, food and gratitude. It’s part of my Thriving New Year!!

  4. Jenny

    I’m in!!! I have a squats, push-up and plank 30 day challenge that I’m doing!!! Check out my Pinterest board for the plan! …. Hopefully, I won’t b too “well rounded” when my 30 days r done!

  5. Pingback: ‘Being Mindful’, A Positive Outlook Is Contagious | igardendaily

  6. Pingback: Gardener ‘Shape Up,’ Breakout Breakfasts | igardendaily

  7. Pingback: Gardener ‘Shape Up’, Yummy Recipes That Take Advantage of The Garden | igardendaily

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