It’s Spring (or supposed to be)!
Time to get out in the garden. There are so many benefits to gardening, it gets you outdoors, moving and is mood boosting. In fact, getting your hands dirty in the garden has been scientifically proven to increase serotonin levels (happy hormones) through contact with specific soil bacteria! 1 Get started by using the tips below.
How can you protect your joints?
- Use long handled tools to eliminate bending
- Wrap foam or twist rubber bands around handles for a softer, more flexible and larger surface grip
- Mount a mailbox on your garden fence and store your tools in it
- When watering, use smaller containers with handles to reduce the weight you have to carry
- Use a pair of gloves designed to increase your grip and minimise the pressure on painful finger joints
- Avoid staying in the same position for a long period of time. Don’t give your joints the chance to become stiff. Release your grip every 10 to 15 minutes. Use a small plastic bucket for weeds or clippings. As it fills faster it will encourage you to stop, change position or rest more frequently
- Complete tasks differently, for example sitting down to plant seeds so you don’t have to keep bending down
- Pace yourself by taking regular breaks (use a timer if necessary) and switch between harder and gentler tasks
- Select easy-to-care-for plants
- Consider changing the layout of paths and beds for easier access
- Get help with some of the heavier jobs
When you’re gardening, don’t overdo it. Consider spreading tasks over a week or two, only doing a few tasks each day as well as having rest days in between.
- ANSW Booklet – At Home With Arthritis
- Arthritis Research UK – Gardening and arthritis (24 page Booklet)
1 Learn more about Serotonin and Gardening: https://diygarden.co.uk/health/natural-antidepressant-in-soil/