I love this article, linked below. It's not necessarily anything new -- many savvy families grocery shop with the aim of buying what's in season when menu planning -- but I love how the article combines the concepts of not only eating in-season, but also seasonal frugality (we call this green living, but ask the people from a couple of generations ago, and they will tell you it was called common sense, back then :P), and even exercise as dictated by the various seasons:
That latter, especially, is something that really speaks to me. All my life, I have started so many walking programs, but every time, I am defeated eventually by the way the weather changes. I don't like walking in sweltering 90+ degree heat with humidity that makes it feel like 110 (Kansas City, I'm looking at you!), or when the sidewalk is so icy I'm likely to fall and break something (again, KC...), and I don't like walking in a torrential downpour (as I now often get in Portland). So it has, in the past, lead to frustration, as I figured that a walking program just isn't something that is for me.
But looking at it from a different perspective, it's simply that walking can be a seasonal activity, if you are a big sissy about the weather like I am. So can many other outdoor things; sometimes it works out (fall/spring), and when it doesn't, it's time to look for something else to fill that niche. It isn't about making yourself to conform to something that you hate (which will lead to failure, eventually); it's about finding what works for you and will help you succeed.
This leads me to an entry I've been contemplating, about hobbies that give you a workout. Like many, I find exercise boring, but if I am engaged in something mentally challenging or craftsmanship-based, then the hours fly by. I've only come up with a partial list of examples, but if you find yourself reluctant to engage in traditional, results-driven exercise, how about considering a new hobby that might fill both the role of an interest, and also the role of a workout?
Some examples I came up with, and there are so many more that I haven't even thought of at this time, are listed below. A second benefit of a workout based on a hobby is that, while you're doing it, your hands are usually too busy to snack!
- Woodworking (weight lifting, tones arms and shoulders, good for core strength)
- Pottery (lots of upper-body work, some lifting and stretching too)
- Gardening (lots of bending, stretching, some core work with the hoe and rake and spade)
- Lawn care (have elderly or invalid or just really busy neighbors? Offer to do it for free, and not only is it a huge help for them, but it's obviously also a good workout for you - skip the gym fees and try this!)
But you can find even more ideas at this link, which lists more hobbies than you can shake a stick at! (Shaking a stick is good upper body and good aerobic work *grin*):
And something I thought was the best idea ever was another user's blog (sorry that I have forgotten whose it was, at this moment) that pointed out that she worked in either construction or manufacturing, and while other people always complained about the extra work they're sometimes asked to do, she was rejoicing in an intense workout with pay! Great attitude! This would work for volunteer-based activities, too, if you are already a desk jockey and don't plan to change that. For example:
- Volunteering at the library gets you as many hours as you'd like, of shelving books (usually the lowest-level entry position for volunteers). It's a fantastic aerobic workout -- WITH stretching! -- and I have done it for a couple of summers recently and really enjoyed it.
- Volunteering with Habitat for Humanity not only helps you learn how to build a home, but also is an extraordinary workout in more ways than I could list.
- Volunteering at your local food co-op, food pantry, or CSA gets you some fresh air and sunshine, and a lot of bending and lifting. Great like a good aerobic stretching session! And if your CSA includes gardening positions in addition to food distribution positions, then you could learn a lot that you might not already know (plus gardening is its own workout!).
- Volunteering at an animal shelter gets you a good walk, some active play time, and some cuddle time, too. And sure, you may have to muck out cages, but that is a good workout, as well, so suck it up! :) If you can't have a pet due to your current circumstances, this is also a great way to get in the stress-reducing benefits of being around companion animals, while giving them the same benefit.
You get the idea.