In many ways Spring is my favourite time of year. Although I live for long, balmy summer evenings, beaches and swimming in the ocean I really love the promise that spring brings. As the bulbs in our garden begin to peek through the cold, damp soil I also feel like I am waking from my slumber and reaching for the light. Suddenly you notice how the evenings are lighter and it won’t be long until the equinox when both day and night are of equal length. Spring is such a time of fertility with not only the bulbs and buds growing but also the birth of spring lambs in the field and birds in their nests. All around us our environment is coming to life.
Although there is most definitely still a chill in the air It’s a great time to get outside and experience what nature has to offer. In the UK we’ve been blessed with many sunny days lately and I’ve been taking the opportunity to get out and about. Aurélia and I have been out in the garden looking for fairies (they do exist you know!) and seeing which new plants are coming to life each week. Soon it will be time to plant our sweet peas and some veggies so we can begin to watch them grow. I find it so important that she knows where our food comes from and how it grows and I definitely got my love of gardening and the outdoors at a young age from spending long days outside with my parents. I also credit her interest in creating living things with the fact that green vegetables are one of her favourite foods!
Spring is also a great time for new beginnings. With the promise of warm days and less clothing as a result, what better time to start a fitness plan! Or indeed inspiration to carry on with those New Year’s resolutions when the going gets tough. It won’t be long until bikini season after all! I find it hard to have either the inspiration or energy to exercise during the dark, gloomy winter months but now as the days get brighter It’s a great time to take your exercise outdoors. Whilst my yoga matt won’t be venturing outside just yet It’s a great time to engage in an activity that gets your heart rate up and keeps you warm. For me this will include the odd run (my run is a bit odd actually!), lots of power walking and the occasional cycle through the countryside. Whilst I’ve been doing lots more yoga lately I feel like I’ve missed out on any cardio and therefore fat burning exercise and I have lots of work to do before the summer to get my fitness back. On the other hand my yoga practice has given me lots more flexibility which should keep me strong and help to prevent injury!
Another wonderful benefit to a more “outdoorsy” season is something called grounding. Grounding, or earthing, refers to connecting electrically with the Earth. The best way to do this is through walking barefoot, sitting or sleeping directly on the earth. A growing body of research is finding numerous health benefits as a result of the physical body being grounded. The theory is that our bodies are meant to come into contact with the Earth on a regular basis. Positive electrons in the form of free radicals can build up in our bodies and direct contact with the ground balances this out as it has a negative grounding charge. This used to happen naturally in days gone by when hunter gatherers would spend all day outside barefoot but in this day and age and particularly in this country it is becoming rarer. This is at a time when in theory we need it more than ever what with the increasing knowledge on the negative impact of electrical radiation coming from cell phones, microwaves and WiFi. I believe the full extent of the harm from EMF’s (Electro magnetic fields) is only just beginning to surface as they are a relatively recent addition to our lives and so it takes time for both the damage and the evidence to surface. Grounding is also thought to have many other health benefits however such as reducing inflammation, improving sleep, helping regulate hormones and reducing stress. Several top athletes are said to have used special grounding mats to speed up recovery and improve sleep but the good news is you don’t have to fork out for a special mat. You can practice grounding at any time for free simply by spending time outdoors barefoot. You do need to have direct contact with the earth though so standing on the patio just won’t cover it! There is also a school of thought that contact with wet earth increases conductivity so wet sand or damp grass are ideal. Another reason why walking barefoot along the shore line makes you feel so great! Your neighbours may look at you slightly oddly when they see you standing barefoot in the garden in the rain but hey, who wants to be “normal”. I urge you to try it. I’ll certainly be doing a lot more.
And with that said, I’m off outside to sit on the grass in the sunshine and read my favourite Natural Health Magazine!
Until next time…….