February 7, 2013 @ 7:05 AM

 February 7 ~

This time of year has gardeners anxious to go out and smell the warm earth, start digging, hauling compost to the gardens......and the first warm days, that is what we do. Where I live, there is probably a good 5 weeks before we can get busy, but in the meantime, I have to prepare myself!!

Armchair gardening doesn't cause backaches and pulled muscles--and all out gardening doesn't always have to either, but we need to condition our bodies just like the athletes do. Starting today, stretching exercises are becoming part of my daily routine. I start with gentle yoga postures and progress on to more strenuous positions and back exercises. As we age, different parts of the body need more care and attention, so, for me, that means strengthening my ankles and upper arms. By the time gardening season comes, I will have re-built my core strength, stretched my back ( a visit to the chiropractor every Spring is as much a sort of gardening prep as planting seedlings!) and lessened the possibility of sprained ankles.

Exercise is important, but so is getting the body, in general, back up to speed. Spring Tonics get the blood flowing and digestion humming along and beginning to eat lighter allows us to have the stamina needed for a full days of labor and hopefully...fun! This is the perfect time of year to start a reasonable diet because nature supports the idea of more fluid, less food and more activity in the spring/summer. It is easier to work with the natural cycle than against it.

So while sitting in front of the computer or sitting by the woodstove on these last cold days, give those ankles a workout--nice slow circles....and....Eat (less), Drink (more) and be Merry, for soon it will be Gardening time!