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Live Healthy Hartsville: Spring is a time for renewal | Community

The other day, I noticed that the buds on my trees had changed into wiggly caterpillar looking danglers.

I am certain there is a word for these, and my Horticulture major college roommate would be cringing if she read this now, but I do not know what you call them.

Today though – today, I noticed that these too were changing, and my trees are filling up with green leaves.

That makes my heart happy. I love this time of year. The flowers beginning to bloom. The longer and warmer days. The return of the bumble bees and hummingbirds – all signifying the change of seasons.

Fresh produce is starting to become available too.

Strawberries are in season and taste so much better than the ones you may have been eating through the winter. Asparagus, Swiss chard and carrots are also available now. Early peas will become available soon too. Check out https://snaped.fns.usda.gov to find a seasonal produce guide. Spring is a great time to look at where you are at with your health goals.

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We can dust off the winter funk and get outside and breathe in some fresh air. If you have been holding out for warmer weather to get started with an exercise program – your time is now!

Maybe this year is your year to plant a garden and grow some of your own vegetables. This can be a great family activity to work together and watch things grow.

If you have limited space – container gardening is an option. Clemson Extension is a great resource for growing tips. You can also search for information on www.burpee.com especially if you want to start from seeds.

Want something more adventurous? South Carolina has many state parks that are available for hiking adventures. There are different levels of difficulties so something for everyone. You can find more information at www.southcarolinaparks.com on all the parks in our state.

The City of Hartsville and the surrounding Pee Dee area have many activities that you can get out and enjoy as well. From catching a game at the ballfield to watching a movie at Screen on the Green to shopping at the Saturday Farmer’s Market – there are many ways to get outside and enjoy this season of change.

While all of these things – plants and gardens, exercise and parks, ballgames and movies – may seem like the only thing they have in common is that they are outside. Each of these represents – nourishment, vitality, and community. Important aspects of our mental health.

It has been a challenging few years – and the challenges have not gone away, but what better time to get back out into the world a little bit than Spring. When all things become new again.

Get out and nourish your mind and body with fresh produce and the beauty of plants.

Get out and increase your vitality with movement. Shake off that stiffness and just move your body more. Dig your hands in some dirt or climb a trail.

Get out and enjoy the community of being with others. We all benefit from spending time with family and friends.

Spring is a time of renewal. We watch the trees fill with leaves and the flowers burst through the ground. Take time to renew yourself too. This is such a special time of year. It is time to shake out the cobwebs of the colder months and spring clean your life.

Until next time…Live Healthy!

Kimberly Alton is director of food and nutrition services at Carolina Pines Regional Medical Center.