Don't Go Crazy- Holistic Thoughts to Keep You Sane and Healthy in March and April

I am up early watching the weather on TV. Who cares that there is a warning for freezing rain tonight. I can live with that after this severely brutal winter. Freezing rain means warming temperatures. The weather man just said that the average temperature since January first is 9 degrees. That makes the 40 degrees predicted one day this week seem like swim suit weather.

 

What does this have to do with balance in life? My dogs could tell you if they talked. As the days move through this winter, they have stayed outside for shorter periods of time and inside, they are ready to drive me crazy. Gracie is chasing the kitty more and her barking is brutal to my ears. Earl refuses to go out many times and anyone who knows him can tell you that this is not normal. I think he is just sick and tired of the cold and snow. 

 

Most people are reporting the same lifestyle changes. It is easy to stop walking outside for health when it is dangerously slippery. And for those of us who have shifted to a treadmill, we can truly say that the four walls around the treadmill are getting very boring. I am going stir crazy and this leads to more sitting and less movement. I start craving sweets because they give me some happiness- until I step on the scales! I go to the supermarket and look at the produce. It looks worse every week because it has to come from so far away. Hmmm. Tater Tots are looking pretty good for the vegetable at every meal. Salads made from hard, tasteless tomatoes and week old lettuce not only lack appeal but in reality is missing many of the vitamins of summer, fresh vegetables.

 

Well, what can you do? We won’t see green grass for another month. Here are some ideas…..

 

Mix up your exercise. Running or walking on the treadmill are good for your heart health, but….. as you grow older, you lose muscle mass and become weaker. So this time of year it is good to kick up the strengthening portion of your workout. Take a class for core strengthening or take a gentle yoga class with a teacher who is trained specifically for yoga, not an exercise teacher who has taken a couple of weekend courses. The reason I say this is that as talented as many exercise instructors are, yoga takes someone who knows more about how to adjust poses to make them safe.  You could stay home and just turn on a DVD for kickboxing or some great music and dance. Add some light weights and its strengthening.

If you golf and are dying to get  on the links, try some indoor golf. The positives are that you can get your swing in shape and you can choose from hundreds of courses. 

Pick up a gardening book and plan a garden or patio garden. I am ordering seeds for my garden and patio. We are in zone 6 for planting now so we should be able to plant most plants by mothers day. What I learned from a farmer is that you can safely plant many veggies earlier than that. The veggies for early planting include spinach, peas, beets, carrots, potatoes,kale and other greens. You can always buy a grow light and plant seeds about 6 weeks before moving outside. That means we can begin to be productive next month. In the meantime, draw up your garden and order your seeds and supplies!

Now, lets clean up that diet. After all, shorts weather is just around the corner and you want to look good. Most people don’t know that frozen veggies maintain more vitamins than canned or “fresh” produce at this time of year. Buy a recipe magazine and mix up your recipes so that the food doesn’t seem so boring and this may help keep you from snacking or opting for fast food every night.

Many times we may be dragging in March because we have been inside the house for several months. Most people in the midwest have low levels of vitamin D and it is worse when we don’t expose our skin to the sun for months. Recent research reveals that low levels of vitamin D are associated with Seasonal Affect Disorder (SAD- seasonal depression). A link with MS and fibromyalgia has also been found. Many experts suggest taking 1000 - 2000 IU Vitamin D3 daily.

 

So, now all you have to do is ask someone to give you a nudge out of that LazyBoy and get moving! Restore your balance!

 

Keep an eye on www.movingintofreedom.net for spring classes including essential oils for gardening and summer herbal tea making. Other classes in the future: functional nutrition to improve health. 

 

Martha Quiroga