Gardening is a great hobby for all ages. But the gardening population typically consists of seniors. However, as we age, the harder it gets on our backs. More and more back injuries enter the hospital every year due to gardening. This is because seniors aren’t taking the proper precautions prior to heading out to the yard to work on their gardens. If you use these gardening tips, you will be able to keep gardening as a hobby of yours.
The most common back pain is caused by not properly preparing certain back muscles for activity.
You wouldn’t go out for a jog with out stretching first, would you? The older we get the more gardening becomes like a jog, so you should stretch!
When stretching it’s good to focus on your back, but you try to stretch as many muscles as you can. Stretching out your neck, legs, arms, and even your hands can help to prevent a full body ache. Doing this one simple task can save you days of soreness.
Use a Garden Kneeler
Even though there are many garden tools out there for seniors, I think the garden kneeler is one of the best inventions on the market today for gardening. A garden kneeler is a little device with a handle on either side and a cushion along the bottom where your knees go.
This tool is great for getting down low to those hard to reach places without having to put too much strain on your back. Depending which type of kneeler you get, you might even be able to fully sit down and give your knees some rest.
Another great thing about garden kneelers, is that you can purchase pouches to strap to the side where you can easily access your handheld tools.
Elevate Your Garden Beds
If kneeling on your knees and bending over are just out of the question, try elevating your garden beds. I know, sounds strange. However, elevated beds look great up against the house and along fences.
Having elevated garden beds allows you to stand in an upright position relieving even more stress from you back. But one thing to look out for when having an elevated garden, is lifting items up into the beds, such as soil. Be sure to lift with your legs, not you back.
Be Sure to Take Breaks
Try your hardest to take a break every half an hour. If you need to, take a break in between those breaks. Allowing yourself time to rest and rehydrate is one of the greatest things you can do for you back, especially as you get older.
Also, wear a hat, so you are protected from the sun’s rays that are beaming directly down on you. The sun will try to suck out all of that water you just drank, leaving you without any hydration.
The better rejuvenated you are, the more time you will be able to spend outside with your garden.
Know Your Limits
If you’re a senior and you’ve been out in the heat all day working on your garden, odds are you’ve been out there for too long. Don’t try and push your body past the limits it warns you about.
Our bodies have a way of telling us that we’ve had enough. That stinging feeling or that annoying soreness are our bodies telling us to QUIT!
Come to a stopping point, it can wait until tomorrow. And if it absolutely can’t wait, call over your grandchild to help you. Gardening may not be their favorite activity, but you both will appreciate the time you get to spend with each other.
As much as we think we are, we are young and spry anymore. Our bodies need to be properly cared for and protected from the aches and pains that come with aging.