Gardening in your golden years serves as a low-impact form of exercise that is not only peaceful and relaxing but also excellent for maintaining your endurance and flexibility. Studies have shown that regularly tending to plants can be therapeutic and relieve emotional stress for older adults, which is especially beneficial for those with Alzheimer’s disease. While gardening can also prevent physical ailments like osteoporosis, you must take precautionary steps to ensure you carry out the activity in a safe manner. Here are some things to look out for when gardening at your age.
As we grow older, our stamina naturally declines, so it is important that you do not overexert yourself too much through long periods of gardening. One thing you can do is break up tasks such as weeding that are more strenuous, doing them in ten-minute intervals.
When you feel fatigued, make sure to take a break and hydrate, as you could be more prone to falls or injuries when you are tired.
Warm up beforehand
Before we engage in any physical tasks, it’s beneficial to engage in some simple warm-up exercises to prepare our bodies. Warming up has been shown to reduce the incidence of injuries and can also reduce body aches incurred from gardening. Some exercises you can do include backward trunk bends, lunges, and standing wrist flexions.
Protect Your Hands and Skin with Safety Gear
Safety is a key factor in enjoying a smooth and stress-free gardening session. Choose highly durable gardening gloves to prevent injuries sustained from thorns, branches and even gardening tools. As UV rays are a cause of skin cancers, make sure you load up on sunscreen when gardening outdoors during the day.
Choose High-Grade Tools
Gardening can be unnecessarily challenging if one does not have the right tools. Therefore, durable and lightweight tools with ergonomic features are the best choice for you to carry out gardening tasks safely.
Strong tools also ensure that you will not need to exert too much pressure on your joints and muscles unnecessarily.
Pick a Prime Time to Garden
Many picture gardening as an activity that can only be done during the day when the sun’s out, but the truth cannot be further! In fact, gardening at dawn or in the nighttime may be more beneficial for your plants because some of the water that you add tends to evaporate during the hottest hours of the day, like in the afternoon. You’ll also be able to stay cool and perspire less as well!
Gardening With a Friend or Loved One
While gardening may seem like largely a solo activity, it could be more fun when there’s company around to assist and encourage you in the process. It can be incredibly rewarding when you get to share the process of growing a plant from scratch with someone else.
Independent living communities provide an outlet for you to meet others of similar age, who may share the same interest in gardening as you! What’s more, various amenities are available for you to explore your passions freely.