Michigan winters, they can be rough. There’s a ton of snow, yes, but that’s not the worst thing about Michigan winters for me. It’s the weeks and weeks of dark, overcast days, when you don’t see the sun for days. I don’t think I actually have seasonal affective disorder or anything, but my energy is def. at its lowest during the winter months. With low energy, my motivation to exercise regularly, eat well, and get outdoors takes a nosedive too. I get a bad case of the winter blahs. All of these things just get stuck in a negative feedback loop of decreased energy, poor eating, and not giving a fuck.
But come late March, when the snow finally stops and everything begins to thaw – doing the whole health, fitness, and the great outdoors thing gets a whole lot easier. And fun.
It’s the Season for Adventure
Yes, there are people who run all through winter and people who go camping in the snow. I aint about that life. Sure skiing is awesome, but it’s prohibitively expensive to go more than a few times during a winter season, and there are just so many more outdoor activities in the summer. When May rolls around I’m already raring to go kayaking, camping, and hiking. Getting out there and enjoying the outdoors, it just makes me so happy, like I’m actually living, and life is good. I’m more likely not to stuff my face with processed chemical shitstorm junk food because I’m feeling like, connected to the earth and shit. So I’m more likely to eat whole foods because I feel all natural!
Gardening, Grow Your Own Food
This year I planted my first vegetable garden in my adult life. I went the whole nine yards – I started seeds around February while it was still snowing in Michigan, put together a raised bed, got blended compost from the gardening supply store, transplanted in spring. It’s kind of magical, watching your plants grow. It’s practically meditative, tending to your plants. Every morning I go outside and do a little gardening. Watering, pulling weeds, stroking leaves, staring lovingly at the first fruit buds. Anyway, I CANT WAIT to eat these vegetables.
Composting, Turning Garbage into Black Gold
As soon as the weather warmed I made Kory build a compost bin (she’s so handy). We are into keeping as much garbage out of landfills as much as possible, we recycle diligently, but composting is even better because you turn your garbage into a useful product. We go through a lot of produce so we generate a decent amount of plant kitchen scraps, and so it just goes into the compost pile, and in a couple/few months – it’ll go into the garden. Closed loop food system? Gettin pretty close. Composting is pretty rad, period.
More Sunlight & Longer Days
It’s so much easier to feel good about life when it’s sunny. When you’re not depressed because you haven’t seen sunlight in days, you don’t have to drag yourself to your workout. When I emerge from my pitch dark bedroom in the morning into the living room bathed in sunlight, I’m happy. When I’m happy, it’s easy to make good choices. When it’s warm and sunny I actually enjoy taking Josie out for a walk. Also, on Mondays and Wednesdays my taekwondo class starts at 7pm. During the winter I can’t bring myself to go then because it’s already dark when the class starts, and it just feels so late. But during summertime it’s still light out at the end of the class at 8:30pm. Thus I go to taekwondo more often.
There’s just something about going to the farmer’s market and getting your vegetables and fruits from the people who grew them. Being able to have a conversation with the grower about where the broccoli was grown and how bitter the beets are going to be gives me this connection to my food that makes me more aware, and it just makes eating this food more meaningful. Eating locally is one of our things – I think it’s healthier to eat as close to home as possible, and more ecologically responsible, obv – and it’s mostly only possible to do this during farmer’s market season. Anyway, I really really enjoy going to the market. I like looking at all the beautiful fruit and veggies, seeing what’s in season, checking out the cool stuff that people in the community make- like soaps, candles, maple syrup, pastries. Going to the farmer’s market is my Saturday morning ritual from late spring to early fall – and I come home with a week’s worth of local produce.
The most delicious and sweetest fruits are in season in the summer/early fall. Mangoes, peaches, and pears – my top favorite fruits, fresh and in season at this time. And so many other delicious sweet things: oranges, cantaloupes, strawberries, grapes, cherries! Go to the supermarket or the farmer’s market and all that stuff is fresh and lots of the time on sale. I think about how strawberries taste in February or eating peaches from a can. I just snatch them all up. It’s good eating in the summer.
I’m not saying that my health and fitness efforts are perfect during spring and summer. But compared to winter, it’s definitely a whole lot easier. This summer I’m determined to make it a fun, healthy, adventure-filled season!
One thought on “Reasons Why It’s Easier to Be Healthy During Spring/Summer”
I love this blog, Kim!