My mother raised five daughters with only a 6-1/2 year age span. The maintenance of her sanity required the regular command, “Go outside and play!” When I was a kid, play had nothing to do with game controllers and screens. Play was active. Thus the reason that even though my sisters and I ate my parents out of house and home, we were skinny little things. Now we all eat a lot less (not just because we are buying our own groceries!) and exercise seems more like a chore – not to mention a hit to the budget. Gym memberships can range anywhere from $15 to $50 a month. There are thousands of exercise products on the market, all of which require a significant financial investment. Last spring, as the weather warmed, I got to thinking about ways to make workouts more fun without spending a lot of money. Then I heard my mother’s voice saying, “Go outside and play!” So I hit my local Dollar General store and checked out the toy aisle. I bought a frisbee and a ball toss game. Fortunately my husband was willing to be my playmate. If you don’t have a grownup friend that is willing and able, don’t fret. Hula hoops and jump ropes don’t require a buddy. For no cost fun, get a small group together for a half-hour round of tag – talk about a cardio workout! Exercise is defined as “bodily or mental exertion especially for the improvement of health”. Active play certainly requires bodily exertion. (As a matter of fact, you are likely to rediscover muscles you forgot you had.) Active play is fun, which is a great stress reliever increasing the physical benefits of exercise and it just makes you happy. So cancel that gym membership and list that dusty exercise equipment on eBay or Craig’s List and go outside and play!
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I was watching the weather report last night and learned that we are not likely to see any rain for the next week. The first thing that came to my mind was that I will have to fit watering the garden into my schedule each evening for the next week. Why the evening? The best time to water plants is in the early morning or in the evening after the sun goes down. This is because the water has a better chance to soak into the soil before it evaporates from the surface. Depending on the climate where you live and what time the sun comes up in the morning, evening watering generally provides a longer time period for soaking to take place. Giving the water a better chance to get to the roots means that you can apply less water to the plants. This environmentally friendly practice results in a lower water bill for you.
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