THE AGING GARDNER
Well, I've begun the serious planning for my course on "THE AGING GARDENER; ACHES, PAINS AND CANES. ARE THEY COMPATIBLE WITH GARDENING?
I said I'd share some of my syllabus with you here, so let's take a look at the beginning.
We are living longer. Exercise is good for us. However, research shows that probably about 70 % of older adults are inactive!
• Gardening is considered low-intensity exercise!
• Exercise can help prevent coronary artery disease, high blood pressure, stroke, diabetes, depression, and even some cancers.
• By staying active we will reduce the limiting effects of those diseases that tend to limit us in our mature years like arthritis and osteoporosis. It will help us keep our balance and therefore reduce falls. It helps us keep our independence!
We’ve been gardening forever. Now our bodies don’t work right. What do we do?
• Don’t be discouraged.
• Use your head, not your back!
• Get a tetanus shot!
• Wait until after your morning cup of coffee. While having that, plan your attack!
• Preferably work hardest after a rain. The ground is easier to work.
• Define what it is you are limited by and then find the proper tools.
• Find a child to teach, and have them help you. A grandchild fits these criteria well!
• Don’t be afraid to try something new!
• Use groundcovers instead of grass to reduce the need for cutting the grass.
• If possible, leave “taxing” chores to others. (A spouse, child, grandchild, a hired hand, etc.)
• Try not to get frustrated. Stop before you get to that point and try something else.
• Define what you are going to do before you begin and don’t get sidetracked.
• Be organized. Treat gardening like driving to town. Plan your route and don’t have to backtrack. Put the wheelbarrow, wagon or cart to use. Take everything you need with you so you don’t need to go back to the garage. IMPORTANT: BRING WATER TO DRINK!!!
• Don’t get discouraged. Look for success in small tasks.