By: Sheila Borgen
A hobby is one of those things that give purpose to life. It gives individuals something to save
for, plan for, and, most importantly, look forward to. Many hobbies include reading, painting,
knitting, restoring an old car, and gardening. Gardening can be fruitful -no pun intended- and a rewarding hobby for those who enjoy being outside in nature. You can plant flowers to enjoy their beauty and fragrance, vegetables to spruce up a salad, or fruit to sweeten your day.
The benefits of hobby gardening go far beyond what tangible rewards may be. Some of these benefits include:
· Strengthening muscles
· Increasing flexibility
· Mood enhancement
· Developing a positive outlook on life
· Stress reduction
· Improving cognition in the elderly
· Promoting better sleep habits
Were you a master gardener or novice gardener in the past and can no longer pursue your passion due to age or disability? Do you feel a sting in your heart because of your lost love? Then, it is time to put a smile on your face. Hope is not lost!
There are many avenues of gardening that can accommodate for increased age and physical or mental disabilities. For example, specially made garden tools protect achy back muscles, decrease strain on arthritic hands, and conserve energy. Listed are a few tools that can make gardening an attainable hobby once again.
Popular Ergonomic Gardening Tools
So, what if the listed tools are not quite enough?
What if balance is your concern?
Does walking on grassy or dirt terrain result in unsteadiness? Does a fear of falling loom over you when you consider returning to gardening?
The thing is, gardening can help improve your balance. Walking while carrying tools, small plants, or pulling a garden cart is balance demanding. Add in uneven surfaces, and the challenge only intensifies.
In addition, your core is constantly working when you are leaning in different directions, holding positions, reaching with your arms and legs, and changing the tilt of your head. Pushing a small hand shovel and pulling back on a hand rake also helps to develop core muscles. A strong core is vital to good balance.
Is strength or endurance your limiting factor?
Walking in the local nursery to find your desired seeds or seedlings offers an excellent opportunity to build endurance. Likewise, walking from the car into the garage or gardening shed to unload your supplies builds stamina.
Pulling on weeds increases strength and endurance combined. And transporting mulch, topsoil, and fertilizer demands energy and power. To gradually increase strength, cut open your heavier bags and separate them into smaller portions to move.
If gardening is calling your name, but you still need convincing that you can step back into the soil, it is time to call Age Fit Physical Therapy and Wellness. Their qualified therapists can design a plan to help you reclaim your lost love.
Don’t let arthritis, a knee replacement, difficulty with reaching, or fear keep you away from the life you deserve!
Sheila is a freelance writer for physical health, mental health, and parenting. She has four exceptional children, one adopted from South Korea. She lives in Alabama with her husband and children. Sheila enjoys cheering her children on at their archery tournaments and soccer games. She has over 23 years of experience as a physical therapist with a special love for the senior population. Learn more about Sheila at WriteInventive.com.