Exercise and de-clutter this spring


By Gery L. Deer

Deer in Headlines

Spring has sprung and, even though temperatures aren’t quite sweltering yet, it’s time to get off that couch and get moving. No more excuses. You can do it! It’s time to get things done and here are two ideas to help.

If your goal is to get into a new outdoor workout routine, it’s best to get started sooner than later. I can’t help you much on running or some of the other athletics, but, for our would-be bicyclists out there, here are some suggestions from my own experience.

Growing up where I did, a bike was a necessity. Early on, I had to learn the rules of the road, long before there were “bike paths,” or lanes anywhere around our farm. So, my first recommendation for would be cyclers, do your homework.

Before you hit the road, be sure that you know the available routes and trails understand the rules. Hit up the local parks and recreation websites to learn about off-road, public trails and street-based bike routes.

Take extra care to plan out your route with each excursion and take a friend. It’s best not to ride alone on back roads or on isolated trails. Use the buddy system to stay safe.

Since many bike paths replaced former railroad lines, some of them go through small towns and take you onto sidewalks and thoroughfares. Be sure to watch for directional signs, both at eye level and painted on the pavement.

Make sure your cycle is in good shape as well. If you don’t do that kind of stuff, take it in for professional maintenance. Nothing’s worse than being stranded from a poorly maintained chain or crank.

Another thing that’s great about this time of year is the fresh start it brings. So how about those of you for whom a spring goal is to clear out the garage, basement or storage rental. It’s good for the living space and great exercise.

My friend Tami Doling is the owner of Silver Lining Organizers, LLC, and a fellow contributor to the WDTN-TV2 Living Dayton program, as well as Dayton Parent Magazine. She has some great advice on her website and blog on how to clear out the clutter, but it all begins with list of some pretty tough questions.

In her “ask the organizer” blog at Dayton Parenting Magazine, Tami offers the following “test” you can take to decide whether to keep something or not.

Begin by asking yourself the following: do you love it? Would you buy it again? Is it broken? Is it worth cleaning and storing? Can someone else use it?

I’d probably expand on the “cleaning and storing” question a bit further. For example, if you haven’t properly maintained an item, that is, you didn’t keep it well cleaned or stored, why would you start now? Probably time to chuck it.

But possibly my favorite of Tami’s advice is her 60 second rule. “If it takes you more than 60 seconds to decide to keep it,” she writes, “you probably don’t need it.” She also suggests that you try not to do too much at once. You could get blindsided by a sense of being a bit overwhelmed.

“Just start, and start small,” Tami says. “Pick a closet or drawer. Empty it and get rid of anything that you no longer need or use. Enjoy the clutter free area and use that feeling to motivate you as you tackle the next area.”

For the last several months, I’ve been in a state of consistent de-cluttering at home. I’ve thrown away things I didn’t even remember keeping, or why they were still there. Broken lamps, old VCRs, TV remotes – why did I keep old TV remotes?

This spring, I’m using the good weather to clear out a great many other areas too, and you can do the same. You can find more of Tami Doling’s articles, TV spots and great ideas about organizing and de-cluttering at silverliningorganizers.com.

Whether you’re starting a new exercise routine or getting some long overdue items checked off of that “honey do” list, the onset of spring is a great opportunity to start. Get up and get moving and I’ll see you outside.

Deer in Headlines

Gery L. Deer is an independent columnist and business writer. Deer In Headlines is distributed by GLD Enterprises Communications, Ltd. More at www.deerinheadlines.com.

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