Small space? Reduced Mobility? No problem, just follow these tips!
Gardening brings peace and tranquility, but beyond that, it also offers numerous physical and well being benefits. For example, researchers from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (or CDC) have listed gardening as a moderate-intensity level activity and just 2.5 hours a week can reduce the risk of obesity, high blood pressure, osteoporosis, heart disease, and depression amongst other things. With all these benefits, there’s even more reason not to let mobility issues or lack of space get in the way of something you enjoy.
Gardening with Reduced Mobility
General aches and pains, injuries, and arthritis don’t have to put a halt to gardening. Here are some ways to keep doing what you love without hurting afterward.
- Ease into it. Even if you have spent the winter doing exercises or other chores, it is likely you’ve been using different muscles. Pace yourself at the beginning of the gardening season so you don’t overdo it. Experts suggest doing some light stretches before you begin, changing positions every 20-30 minutes and resting for about 10 minutes in between.
- Raised beds. Save your knees and back by using raised garden beds or planter boxes along with a chair or bench. While the height can vary, a good rule of thumb is to keep the width at an arm’s length so you have easy access to all plants.
- Go vertical. Another option to the raised beds is to grow vertical plants using trellises, fences or outside walls. This way you can work standing up, just make sure they don’t reach past your arm’s length and are great space savers as well.
- Plant native. Native species offer a wide range of benefits, from attracting pollinators and beneficial insects to being drought resistant, but they also require a lot less upkeep. Cultivating plants that are native to your area means you can enjoy all the benefits of a garden without working overtime to keep it looking pristine.
But what if you don’t have a yard?
Don’t let downsizing or moving into a retirement community keep you from gardening. There are still many options available to keep you moving, boost your mood, and enjoying the fruits of your labour.
- Indoor plants. Keeping flowers, plants, and even herbs indoors offer great benefits. From having fresh herbs at your fingertips to cleaning the air inside your home and reducing stress, keeping an indoor garden is a great way to keep your thumb green.
- Container gardens. Many, many things can grow in planters and planter boxes, be it on a front porch or balcony. Use containers to grow herbs, tomatoes, and native species that will attract hummingbirds, butterflies, and other pollinators. With some forethought and planning, you can have beautiful blooms and bounty throughout the entire growing season. Just be sure to pay attention to how much sun or shade your plants will receive and how big they can grow.
- Community or shared gardens. If you want a larger project community gardens offer the perfect opportunity. Not only are you given your own plot to plant what you like, but you can also interact with other like-minded individuals and plan out blooms and harvests to share throughout the season.
Written by Christine Tompa for Amintro, the social app designed exclusively to create and facilitate new and meaningful friendships and social circles for adults 50+. Make friends. Live life.