The aspects of gardening for seniors benefits their health and well being while being therapeutic and allowing them to stay active and productive.
Gardening in itself is an enjoyable pastime and an excellent form of exercise for mobility, flexibility, use of motor skills while helping to improve strength and endurance.
This type of physical activity also helps to prevent osteoporosis, reduces stress levels while promoting relaxation to help you rest better at night.
A few good words of advice for seniors who garden is to warm up by doing a few stretches before starting any gardening activities and working with your garden tools. Doing this will help reduce any muscle soreness you may experience later on.
* Also, drink plenty of liquids (avoiding alcohol), to keep your body well hydrated.
* Be sure to take care of cuts, bruises scrapes and insect bites right away to help avoid infection.
* Try and work in the garden early in the morning or late in the day to avoid blazing midday sun and heat which can make even the healthiest senior ill or weary.
* Wear comfortable clothes and shoes, and add a hat, gloves to cover exposed skin and use sunscreen to protect against sunburn and sun damage.
However, in addition to these tips, it is also important to know your limitations. When you start to feel fatigued, take a break for a few moments.
Also, try rotating your gardening tasks every half hour or so, as this will help you to use your larger muscles and be less taxing on those smaller muscles that you really may not be aware that you're putting stress on until you become uncomfortable later on.
Also avoid using tools that will put you in awkward body positions. If possible, take advantage of the new breed of ergonomic garden tools which are designed to reduce strain and injury because they work in conjunction with your body movements.
These garden tools are pretty near perfect for the senior gardeners, due to the fact that they are lightweight and sturdy, thus giving better control. The shorter handles on ergonomic tools gives better leverage control while the longer tool handles give much better power and are better for jobs requiring full body motion.
Another gardening tip for seniors is to keep your tools sharp, well oiled and in good working condition. This will help avoid resistance when using them and cut down on the manpower needed to execute certain tasks. Remember that proper body positioning will minimize muscle soreness and fatigue.
Here are a few safety tips and easy steps that seniors should take into consideration when gardening to avoid injury and minor aches and pains:
* Be careful with power tools because even the smallest ones can become a burden in worn and weary hands.
* Bend at the knees and hips to help avoid injury
* Try to work below shoulder level when possible and keep tour elbows partially bent while gardening
* Definitely avoid twisting the forearm back and forth. Instead, try to work with your hands in a neutral position.
* Wear gardening gloves to protect your hands
* Plant vertical or raised garden beds to avoid bending or stooping
* Use adaptive tools ,garden tools can be modified to suit the needs of older people
* Provide yourself with shaded areas for working whenever possible
* Finally, if memory abilities are becoming affected, secure gates and fences can be an enormous advantage by helping to keep seniors with memory troubles secure while still allowing them to indulge in gardening.
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