Ah, spring is in the air. The snow is melting. The early bulbs are starting to poke through. The green grass is almost ready for a mow. Kids are outside playing in the parks and zipping around on their bikes. People even appear to be happier now that the cold and grey slushy snow is gone.
For many, spring feels like the ideal time for a fresh start. While it’s always a good time to try something new, we want you to think about doing so this spring. Embrace the fresh air, bright blue sky, and warmer longer days with a new activity or two. The physical and mental health rewards of getting out and meeting new people, trying a new activity, or even eating a new food – cannot be overlooked. Maybe you’re struggling with daily joint discomfort or have always wanted to improve your swimming – well now is the time – sign-up for some stroke improvement classes or join a masters-level swim club.
Think of something you’ve always wanted to do or something you’ve never imagined doing – and put it on your list for the next few months. We want to know what you’ve put on your “new for spring” list – share with us on the SierraSil Facebook community page.
Say Good-Bye to the Same Old Same Old
It’s so easy to get caught up in doing the same thing season-after-season. Habit is the stuff of life but sometimes it helps to break-out of your routine and habits. By joining a new club or planning a vacation to a new location or even eating out at a new-to-you restaurant, you’re able to ignite your senses and open up your sense of your community.
Now, of course if you’ve been a 20-year member of your local gardening club, we don’t want you to rashly decide to give up on gardening. But maybe, you’re a bit bored with the repetitive nature of your gardening club or would like to learn about different aspects of gardening – so this is your chance. Look for new gardening club opportunities or suggest new workshops or sessions to your fellow gardening club members. You never know who you will meet or what you will learn.
Try a New Sport
Remember, there are no limits on what you can do. If there is a sport or activity you’ve always wanted to try – this is the ideal time to do so. Of course, we want you to think carefully about your joint mobility and overall health and how best to accommodate any discomfort or limitations you may have. For example, rather than taking on an ultramarathon, you might want to join a local running group and train for a late summer five-kilometer run.
Spring is the ideal time to get outside and embrace the fresh air and your local greenspaces. Maybe you’re fortunate to live in a community that has nearby hiking and walking trails. If so, chances are very high there is a hiking group that would welcome you in. Look for hiking groups that are ideal for your age and might include extra interests such as bird-watching, photography, or learning about wildlife.
Think about that sport or activity you’ve always wanted to try and sign-up for a beginner’s weekend or mini-course. Swimming, tennis, golf, cycling, pole walking, yoga, etc. – there are so many options available to you. Or maybe you’ve wanted to explore your artistic side, look for a pottery workshop, paining class, embroidery group, a weekly knitting club, or photography club.
New Foods to Try this Spring
One of the best things about spring are the new fruits and vegetables that come into season. Yes, the winter comfort meals of stews, thick soups, and casseroles can be packed full of delicious ingredients, however it’s refreshing to change up our eating with the seasons.
Make this the spring of “eating new foods”. Set a goal of a cooking a new-to-you recipe once every two weeks or to eating at a new restaurant on Friday nights. Incorporate small changes such as swapping out hummus for guacamole or tzatziki. Add in some new vegetables or try cooking them in a different way. For example, pick up a couple packages of vegetable noodles (those curly looking strips of sweet potato, zucchini, or squash) and use them instead of rice as a base for a stir-fry or add them into a vegetable-based soup.
Change is good and it is particularly good for your diet. We’re not saying give up on your favorites but consider swapping out an ingredient and trying something new. Look for foods that have been shown to help strengthen your immune system and reduce inflammation. For example swap spinach for arugula or swap potatoes for sweet potatoes or swap red beets for yellow beets. Look for what is new and fresh in your grocery store and give it a go. Who knows, you just might find a new favorite food.
Make Time for Yourself
Spring can be a time of renewal, so embrace this time and do something for yourself. Think about what it is you really want to do and commit to doing it. Take a trip to New York City to see a Broadway show or get-away on a yoga weekend retreat or take up water skiing lessons – whatever that thing is that’s at the back of your mind – go for it.