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Tending to Your Garden AND Your Health

by Jeff Dailey

With the spring season underway, we’re sure many of us are itching to get outside and enjoy the long-awaited bright, sunny days. And there are plenty of ways for you to enjoy the outdoors this spring – walking in the park or around the neighborhood, playing golf, visiting the local zoo. But there’s another springtime activity that you can do right in your own backyard: gardening! Tending to Your Garden AND Your Health
GardeningCalling All Green Thumbs!
Did you know that just 30 to 45 minutes of gardening activity, such as mowing the lawn, weeding and planting flowers, burns up to 200 calories? As an added bonus, gardening can also improve your strength, mobility and endurance. Even though gardening is a great way to tend to your health, it’s important to be aware of the following garden safety tips for seniors so you can stay safe and benefit your health.
Safety First!
When it comes to staying safe in your garden, it’s important to go back to the basics. Before you even begin gardening, take a look at any safety hazards that may be hiding in your yard, such as broken steps, roots, etc. To prevent trips and falls, wear properly-fitted clothing that isn’t too long or baggy along with gloves and sturdy shoes with good traction. And don’t forget about insect repellant to keep those pesky bugs away!
Inspect Your Gardening Tools
Along with checking your lawn and garden for any safety hazards, inspecting your gardening tools is another thing you should do before you start gardening. Make sure all of your tools and equipment is working properly, and if needed, carefully sharpen tools before use. To avoid other accidents, use lightweight tools that are easy to handle.
Fun in the Sun
Gardening is certainly a fun way to get some exercise, but while you’re having fun in the sun, it’s important to remember some sun safety tips. To prevent sunburn and skin cancer, wear long sleeves, long pants, sunglasses, and a wide-brimmed hat. Remember to reapply sunscreen (with SPF 15 or higher) and drink plenty of water if you’re in the sun for long periods of time.
Keep your Medical Alert Device with You
It can be easy to forget that accidents can happen anywhere – even in your own backyard. All of Medical Guardian’s medical alert systems provide guaranteed, round-the-clock protection both inside and around your home, so you know that you can still get help should you fall or experience another emergency in your garden.
Make it Fun!
Gardening may be a form of exercise, but that certainly doesn’t mean you can’t have fun doing it! Be sure to vary your daily gardening activities to keep it fun and to get the most health benefits. Enlist the help of family, friends or even neighbors to add a social component to gardening – this is also a great way to pass on your gardening wisdom to the next generation!
Above all, listen to your body. Know your limitations, and do what is reasonable and safe for you. Just keep these garden safety tips for seniors in mind, and both your garden and your health will bloom in no time!
-Meghan Orner
Medical Guardian

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