Get Ready to Garden

May 08, 2023
4 min read


Roni Crowell, DPT, ATC


Gardening can be a great way to stay active, enjoy the outdoors, and cultivate a beautiful space. However, gardening can also be physically demanding and pose certain challenges for people of all ages. Whether you are young and just starting out with gardening or are older and looking to maintain your ability to garden, there are steps you can take to gear up for gardening and make the most of this rewarding activity.

Here are some tips to help you gear up for gardening at any age:

  1. Start with a warm-up: Just like any other physical activity, it is important to warm up before gardening. Take a few minutes to stretch your muscles, particularly your arms, legs, and back. This can help prevent injury and make gardening more comfortable.
  2. Wear appropriate clothing: Wear comfortable, loose-fitting clothing that allows you to move freely. Additionally, consider wearing a hat and sunscreen to protect yourself from the sun.
  3. Use proper tools: Choosing the right tools can make a big difference in how comfortable and effective your gardening experience is. Look for tools with padded handles that are easy to grip and consider using tools with longer handles to help you avoid bending over too much.
  4. Use good posture: Proper posture is key to preventing back pain and other injuries while gardening. Keep your back straight and avoid bending over for extended periods of time. Consider using a garden stool or knee pads if you need to work on the ground.
  5. Take breaks: Gardening can be tiring, so it is important to take breaks as needed. Take a few minutes to rest, stretch, or enjoy your labor's fruits.
  6. Stay hydrated: Ensure you drink plenty of water while gardening to avoid dehydration. Keep a water bottle nearby and take sips regularly.
  7. Consider raised beds: Raised beds can be an excellent option for older adults or those with limited mobility. They allow you to garden at waist height, reducing the need to bend over or kneel on the ground.
  8. Get help if needed: If you have physical limitations or health conditions that make gardening challenging, consider asking for help. This could be from a friend, family member, or even a professional caregiver or landscaper.
  9. Modify your approach: Your gardening needs and abilities may change as you age. Consider modifying your approach to gardening, such as switching to lighter-weight tools or focusing on low-maintenance plants.
  10. Stay active: Finally, remember that gardening is just one way to stay active and healthy. Make sure to incorporate other forms of physical activity into your routine, such as walking or swimming, to maintain your overall health and fitness.

By taking these steps, you can gear up for gardening at any age and enjoy the many benefits of this rewarding activity. From improving your physical health to cultivating a beautiful outdoor space, gardening can be a fantastic way to stay active and engaged.

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