While gardening is considered one of the safest hobbies with tons of benefits especially for seniors, there are still some attendant hazards linked to it. For instance, too much enthusiasm can inadvertently push some folks into putting in more hours than is healthy.
The end result, in extreme cases, is debilitating pains and aches when the adrenaline has worn off a few hours later or the next day. Below are some precautions to take to keep healthy and stay safe.
Get the right tools: Investing in the right garden tools and equipment designed to conserve energy is one of the most important first steps to take. That is why garden equipment like rolling carts with seats come highly recommended.
Anti-pests measures: If you are unlucky to live in a location close to the habitat of disease-carrying pests, taking precautions against them must be a priority. Check out the local extension service office or the closest garden supplies store for advice on the best way to deal with the issue.
For those with wooded areas around or close to their property, all types of irritating ticks would be a problem. It’s best to protect the body by wearing long pants, long-sleeved shirts, gloves, and a hat. The pants should be tucked inside the work boot.
A good mosquito repellent is also something that must be explored if the West Nile virus is prevalent in the area.
Treat cuts immediately: Cuts while gardening would occur sooner or later. With garden cuts, there is always the danger of infection by tetanus bacteria. Simply cleaning the cut with water and applying disinfectant is a good first aid but that might not be enough if you haven’t been vaccinated against the disease.
Experts recommend that gardeners take a tetanus vaccination as a preventive measure. Fortunately, you only need to get vaccinated once in 10 years.
So if you are a newbie gardener, you might want to check if your vaccination regimen is up to date before starting.
Staying hydrated is vital: It is very important to drink water while working in your garden especially on hot days.
Dehydration is a serious issue that can lead to loss of consciousness. This can creep up on you if you get carried away with gardening chores. You’d lose track of time and before you know it, dizziness and blurred vision set in. It is downhill real fast from that point if nothing is done. This makes it important to have a water bottle or flask handy. Water breaks every 30 – 60 minutes to rehydrate is advisable.
- Other recommendations for staying healthy include:
- Do some simple stretching exercises before starting
- Use sunscreen if you are going to work for several hours under the sun
- Use comfortable braces on the back and knees to help mitigate the strain put on the body while bending.
- Knee pads with thick padding is always a nice idea if you are going to be kneeling a lot
- If you suffer from allergies, use a face mask covering the nose and mouth for protection against potential allergens in the area.