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Spring into summer shape

Publishing Date : 11 September, 2018

Stuart White
The World in Black-N-White

It’s the start of a new season and it occurs to me that I might just be a change junky! I look forward to each of the seasons for all different reasons, not least because by the time that the new season arrives I am fed up with the last one.

I enjoy the letting go and embracing something new and, of course, my psyche gobbles this up like a grizzly bear just emerging from its slumber. It hasn’t been a bad winter here but I admit to particularly loving Botswana’s spring, as to quote Charles Dickens “Spring is the time of year when it is summer in the sun and winter in the shade – and that captures the perfect weather that spring is here – not too hot not too cold. Even more, spring is about life! It’s the promise that everything can grow again,

Don’t you feel a stirring in your loins? Maybe it feels like you have been lying on your couch the whole winter eating far too much comfort food and hibernating like a bear yourself?  If it does, then here’s your wake-up call.  If you are anything like me during the winter my exercise programme tends to take a knock. I find it hard to get out of bed when it’s dark and cold outside and there are too many fabricated reasons not to wake up to 10 reps of bench presses, squats and crunches and instead hit that snooze button once too often. 

Once spring comes however I notice more bounce in my step partly because of the change in temperature and the tightening of my clothes and it is not just coincidence. Warmer days have a direct influence on mood and behaviour as proven in a 2004 University of Michigan study which found people who spent at least 30 minutes outside in pleasant weather — either by taking a trip to warmer climates in the winter months or by taking advantage of a newly warm spring day in the park – had happier moods. And in corroborating research, a 2014 UM study found that being outside could lead to a better mindset and reduced stress. For me I just feel somewhat rejuvenated.

So, out of your winter stupor.  It’s time to retrieve that gym outfit from the back of your cupboard and make a note in your calendar that next week, to celebrate the Spring awakening, there is the Spring Into Life Aerobics Marathon hosted by Lifeline and sponsored by Cresta.  It’s a worthy fundraising event and here is the seasonal tie-in. Spring is synonymous with life and wellbeing and this echoes Lifeline’s core purpose, according to the organisers of the event. If you don’t know much about the organisation, Lifeline is an NGO registered in Botswana since 1999,  providing free psychosocial and emotional support to Botswana society, targeting, in general, unemployed or low-income citizens who otherwise would not be able to access free emotional and wellness counselling services.

The event aims to promote a healthy lifestyle through fun and physical activity, a theme aligned with the Lifeline organisation itself. The event organisers are attempting to capitalise on the energy associated with spring and what better way to re get into your exercise regime than outside in the sunshine? It will boost your endorphins — the same feel-good chemical that comes from exercise AND may come from warmer weather, so they say. Also, if you get involved there is an additional benefit than simply kick-starting your summer programme; it’s a secondary benefit, a below the line advantage to use a marketing term, of a philanthropic nature, and that’s charity – something which is very important.

The bible teaches us that it is better to give than to receive because of course when you are giving you are also receiving a spiritual and moral benefit. As Stephen G. Post, author of The Hidden Gifts of Helping: How the Power of Giving, Compassion, and Hope Can Get us Through Hard Times, said “If you help someone up the hill, you get closer (to the top) yourself.

Whether the group is for weight loss, smoking cessation, substance abuse, alcoholism, mental illness and recovery, or countless other needs, a defining feature of being part of a group is that people are deeply engaged in helping one another, and are in part motivated by an explicit interest in their own healing.”  This is the mutual support factor which makes organisations such as Alcoholics & Gamblers Anonymous so successful in helping addicts overcome their dependency – the knowledge that you are not alone in your fight; there are other people in the same boat and help is out there.  

Which brings us back to our aerobics marathon. Participation in a charity event like this is not just about you –it’s about giving to others. Your donation of P120 for participation allows Lifeline to continue to offer its vital services to those in need and offers the double benefit of encouraging you to get back into your summer shape. If you would like to know more about the event you can visit LifeLine Facebook page: Lifeline Organisation Botswana, contact Mma Gunda on +267 75492977. Tickets available on Webtickets, all Spar store and Pick n’ Pay Sebele.
See you there!



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