It’s amazing how much a person’s body will retaliate when you don’t keep it active. After a very long winter, I’m finally able to work around my backyard. It’s therapeutic work, as there’s something satisfying about nurturing flowering plants and grooming a green carpet of grass. Despite my weight issues, I thought I’d be in half decent shape for these tasks, as surely this had to be easier than shoveling heavy snow. I was wrong.
It turns out that the muscles I use for gardening are not the same muscles I use for shoveling snow. Weeding a flowerbed requires squatting down a few hundred times, so the next morning, my thighs and buttocks were screaming. Apparently, digging in dirt with a shovel also uses different muscles than shoveling snow, so my triceps let me know that they were none too happy with me as well.
Even leisure time took a toll on my body. For instance, my family went for a bit of a long stroll to have a picnic in a nice, natural setting. I haven’t walked that far in quite awhile, and I could feel my legs burning afterwards. It’s not the first time I’ve ever gone for a walk, so why did my body react like that?
As the old saying goes, folks, if you don’t use it, you lose it. Thankfully, if we get active, much of what we lose can be recovered. I noticed that my second week in the yard did not give my body the same level of grief that it did the first week. My muscles didn’t retaliate to the same extent, and after a while, I no longer had to grunt each time I got up from a crouched position. My arms don’t cause me discomfort anymore when digging around in the dirt. It was as if the past couple of weeks were a lesson in remaining active, with my body playing the part of a strict professor.
I suspect that I am not the only one cracking the rust off of long neglected muscles. I see folks out cycling, roller blading, and jogging along all our pathways. I see kids out and about playing organized sports and I see a lot more dog walkers than I did a month ago. Fresh air and sunshine has done wonders in bringing our community to life. But there are still some folks that haven’t broken out of that long winter funk. There are still far too many kids cooped up in basements, playing video games on the weekends and far too many folks firmly planted on couches, watching television. That’s where incentives have to be directed so as to get these folks out of their homes and encourage them to become active, meet new friends, and get involved themselves. This weekend is a prime one for kick-starting just that.
All this weekend is the City-Wide Garage Sale. There will be hundreds of garage sales all over Airdrie, offering bargain hunters the opportunity to not only find some great deals, but for neighbours to reconnect and folks to get out and about. Running in conjunction with the ‘City-Wide Garage Sale’ is the ‘City-Wide Take-it-or-leave-it’. If you only have a few items to get rid of and don’t want to either add it to a neighbour’s garage sale or host your own, you can leave the items on your front yard with a sign that reads “Free for taking”. These events run from Friday through Sunday. For anything not picked up or sold, folks are encouraged to donate the remaining items to either Goodwill, located in Kimmers Crossing off of Veterans Boulevard, or the Salvation Army, located on Main Street.
For those that have kids, this Saturday, May 26th, is also the inaugural annual ‘Children’s Festival’ being held in Nose Creek Park. This is a free event with learning stations, interactive exhibits, games, and Juno award winning entertainment. For more details, visit www.AirdrieChildrensFest.com
Last, but not least, folks, it’s important to note that the lack of vitamin D contributes to depression and mood swings. So, if you have kids inside, playing video games, kick them outside and get them playing with other kids. If you have a lethargic spouse, take them by the hand and go for a stroll in the park while you chat. We don’t necessarily have to go to a gym every day to remain healthy… but we do indeed need to be active.