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High Desert Outdoors in the Spring

Planning Spring Activities Outdoors

What do you think of when you hear the word Spring in the High Desert? I think of several things, including:

  • gardening
  • pulling weeds
  • organic herbs and vegetables
  • outdoors
  • picnics
  • grilling
  • bugs
  • snakes

Gardening

Growing a flower garden or herb and vegetable garden is good for nutritious eating but creates a reason to get exercise. Pulling weeds is one of those necessary outside chores that is impossible to escape. Either you have to pull them or hire someone to do it for you. The next time it rains, watch those weeds pop up all over the yard. Pulling them yourself will ensure that you get healthy exericise.

Herbs and Vegetables

Plant several tomato plants, and you’ll have fresh tomatoes, tomatoes for salsa, and tomatoes to give away. They grow well in the high desert, but the neon hornworms love the tomato plants and before you know it, they’ll eat all the leaves. Take a flashlight out at night to see them light up. Then can’t hide so well then.

Peppers, green onions, carrots, and squash are a few vegetables that will grow in the high desert. Add herbs to your garden. Add flavor to your meals with fresh herbs from your garden. There’s nothing like eating organic herbs and vegetables from your own garden. It makes you want to eat more vegetables and cook healthier.

Natural Vitamin D

Gardening is a great reason to get some sun, the natural Vitamin D. Just spending fifteen to thirty minutes outside does wonders for you. The benefits of Vitamin D and serotonin is worth studying. You don’t have to know all the scientific effects to know that it makes you feel good just being out in the sun a bit.

Picnics and Grilling

It’s spring and a great time to get out the picnic baskets and grilling equipment. Do you have picnics in your backyard, or do you go to the park? Picnics are fun and usually include some type of activity. When I was a little girl, croquet was a game my family enjoyed playing in our yard. It’s not such a popular sport anymore, but it’s still fun to play. Be on the look out at vintage shops for croquet sets. Some people use the vintage croquet games equipment for various upcycled decor items.

Bugs and Snakes

There is one thing for sure. A high desert organic garden will attract bugs. Not only does the garden attract them. High desert bugs love to come inside the house. Bug spray should be kept in every room in the house. If not, by the time you run to another room to grab the spray, the bug is nowhere in sight.

A serviceman from Terminix told me that the worst thing you can do that attracts pests and snakes is to have a flower bed next to the house. I asked would it make a difference if you landscaped with rocks instead of a flower bed. He said snakes like rocks, too.

My mother loved flowers, and she always warned me to watch out for snakes in the springtime around the flower beds. I love the outdoors and flowers, but I do not like bugs or snakes. Bugs are tolerable in that they are small enough to squish. Snakes are a different story altogether. About a year ago in Texas, my cousin, Stephanie, and her children had just come home. As she was about to unlock her door, a poisonous snake slivered between her and her front door on its journey to wherever. Stephanie screamed and jumped. Her purse and keys flew. That is not a scenario I want to experience.

You can contact pest control for bugs and snakes. Like the Terminix serviceman informed me, there are things you can do to get rid of them. Pestkill.org offers excellent ways to eliminate snakes from your house, yard, and garden.

Winter Exercise Options in the High Desert

By Guest Blogger Bev Prine

Does the mere mention of exercise stop you in your tracks? Does the thought of working out

intimidate you? Afraid of going to the gym because you think everyone in the High Desert is

looking at you? You are not alone, especially in the High Desert, where the weather can be very

unpredictable. Now that February is here and real winter weather is upon us, it is even more

difficult to get outdoors and move your body. The month of February is historically 14 degrees

cooler than January in the High Desert, as reported on www.wunderground.com. Exercise

during extreme weather changes can certainly become a challenge, especially if you are new to

a regular exercise program. There are many successful ways to sneak in some exercises, without

even realizing you are doing it!

The Sneaky-Exercise List

• Walk more! Park your car far from the entrance. This saves gas and time, since circling

the parking lot for a closer spot only wastes time and gasoline. The sneaky part? You

won’t even realize you are exercising, simply by walking a little further to get to the

• Stretch more! While sitting at a task, such as blogging on High Desert Bloggers, set a

timer for 30 minutes to stand up and stretch. This is an ergonomic trick to rest your eyes,

and while you are standing, reach for the sky like your life depends on it! Inhale deeply

while you raise your hands, then slowly exhale while you bring your arms back down.

• Dress to impress! Put your work-out clothes on, even if you are not planning on working

out. This little trick will tell your mind that your body is ready to move. Put on your

walking shoes, your running sneakers, or your hiking boots. Subconsciously, your mind

will think, “I might as well work up a sweat since I have my work-out clothes on.”

• Make a date with an exercise buddy (or two or three)! Being accountable to someone

else is an excellent way to stick to a new routine. For the beginner, working-out with a

buddy will make sure you will make the time to build in exercise. Coming up with new

(believable) excuses to cancel will soon run out. Your exercise buddy will hold you to

your promise, and you won’t want to let them down. After all, it is for your own good,

and good for your buddy!

• Get technical! During the cold winter months, you don’t have to go outside to work-out.

There are many options to work-out indoors, for example, use the Wii Sport game, or a

similar game-system program. Visit www.youtube.com and search for “online workout

fitness programs” and get moving! Only 20 minutes a day, five days a week, will be a

great start to improving your health.

 

The first step is the worst – just get started! Don’t make unreasonable expectations for yourself,

and just keep going. The benefits are immeasurable! For instance, you will be sleeping better,

and feeling better. Little by little, you will have more endurance, for those times when you

need to climb a flight of stairs unexpectedly. By exercising and moving more, you will start to

consider your caloric intake, also. The nice thing is that the more you move, then you can eat

what you want, within reason. The more you move, the more calories you burn, the more you

can eat what you want.

cx.

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