After what felt like the longest and wettest May ever, the weather appears to be taking a turn for the better (Well maybe not today..) and summer is finally here, hooray! And thank goodness for the sunshine, as with the continuing uncertainty over international travel means it looks like we will all be enjoying a staycation this year. But instead of feeling sad that life is not back to normal I definitely feel like there is a feeling of positivity growing. Despite a few remaining restrictions we are now able to visit friends and family and travel around our beautiful countryside.
As you all know I am a very active person and being stuck at home doesn’t suit my mood at all. But give me a bike or a pair of trainers and some beautiful countryside and my mood lifts enormously. We often put a lot of emphasis on travelling to new exotic places or finding exciting new activities for the kids, but honestly I don’t know anyone who doesn’t come back from a long walk or bike ride without a smile on their face. The natural endorphins we release when we exercise gently helps to alleviate fatigue and lift our moods, whilst at the same time it keeps us alert, increases our energy levels and improves our mobility. Kids love to try new things, but they also simply love time with family and friends, being outside and active. Yes we can’t guarantee the sun cream will come out on the beaches of the UK everyday this summer, but pack an anorak and I promise the kids won’t mind as long as they have a bucket and spade an ice cream at the end of the day. The simple things really do make us happy.
One thing I have noticed over the last year is a renewed interest in gardening. The opportunity and extra time at home that we have had over the last year has enabled people to try their hand at growing their own plants and vegetables and everyone seems to love it. Gardening is such a good hobby as it’s a great way of getting in a good low impact workout, which is great for those of us over 50. But on top of that the benefits to our mental fitness are huge too, surrounding ourselves with nature and being outdoors. From a nutritional angle it’s also great. At my old house I had an allotment and used to grow lot of my own food. There’s such joy to be had from seeing the journey from seed to plate and it certainly will mean that you increase your intake of healthy vegetables if you are growing it yourself. I am really excited to plan the veg patch at my new house and am looking forward to all the food I will hopefully be eating next year. I appreciate that I am very lucky to have the space to grow so much. But even if you have a small outdoor space like a balcony there’s lots you can grow in pots, including tomatoes which are the major dietary source of the antioxidant lycopene, which has been linked to many health benefits, including reduced risk of heart disease and cancer, and lettuce leaves that are a great source of vitamin K which strengthens bones, something we definitely need to do in the second half of our life.
We also have an exciting summer of sport to look forward to, with Euro 2020 and Wimbledon this month, and the Olympics starting in July. Whilst we may not be able to attend these events in person we can certainly support the athletes from a far and enjoy watching them with friends and family. Next month I will be sharing some of my top tips for who to look out for in Tokyo, as well as some of my favourite memories from my own Olympic experiences. Till then if the sun is out then, so should you!
Stay safe and enjoy!
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