Gardening As You Age - Suggestions? - Kathy Gallanis

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Hello everyone,
I wanted to post here to get feedback from my fellow gardening community about gardening as you age. I've found that my mobility has decreased over the years, and I'm wondering if anyone has any tips or products they recommend for reducing strain on my body while still trying to enjoy my favorite hobby, gardening.

Thank you, an I hope everyone's getting excited and prepared for the warmer months ahead!
- Kathy Gallanis
 

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Howdy Kathy...I'm right there with you. My tip would be to never ever give in to it but add more activity.

I'm all about veggie gardening and one thing that offers great promise to me is container gardening. I did an experiment on growing veggies in large containers a couple of years back and it was so successful I've made it part of my routine now. See the thread:


Just today I prepared my spring planting beds for potatoes, tomatoes, beans, etc. I'll plant potatoes Valentine's Day.

ptato row 2024.JPG
 
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I don't try and avoid activity, but I spread it out. For example, I had a lot of small logs to move 50 feet across the garden, instead of getting the wheelbarrow and loading it I carried them across one by one. Each was enough to be exercising, none enough to be a strain. It must have added two or three thousand steps to my day, walking is so good.

Gardening happens at ground level, take care with your back. Try not to bend your back, use your legs. Squatting uses the biggest muscles in your body, your back has tiny muscles. If I am doing a bunch of stuff in the same place I have a kneeler my daughter gave me that has handles either side to make getting up and down a little easier, I also find, counterintuitively, being elevated slightly actually makes jobs like close weeding easier.
 
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Whenever I recommend exercise people think I'm being facetious, but I'm not. Exercise is medicine. It doesn't matter how healthy your diet, if you're not exercising the body, which means going way beyond just walking (or even gardening).

Heavy weights do good for the body, along with stretching.




 
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I agree with the keep moving but the gym is mainly for gym junkies (I'm one). Walking in the wild woods is good for mental health.
I have tried growing things in pots, but the summer sun is good at overheating the roots. Because there are long handled hoes, I think an ordinary garden bed or raised bed is okay.
Remember that home grown produce is the best and will probably improve your ability to garden. Falling asleep under a shady tree is good for mental health. The oldest woman in South Australia has just died at 111 years old, and rumor is that we might all be setting records soon.
 
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Just keep moving. I am out just about every day in the garden walking about doing something. If there is snow on the ground that is what stops me. But I can always find something to do. Walking about pruning, raking, something. In the warmer months I am the person that cuts all the grass, most with the ridding mower, some with the push mower. Always good to stretch first then mid-way then after. Looking up Yoga is also good for some added movement.
 
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I think people often associate lifting weights at the gym is just for showy muscles, but that perception couldn't be further from the truth. Weightlifting is much more than bodybuilding (which I'm no fan of).

Here are just a couple examples of elderly people improving their life with strength training. Many more examples out there...








EDIT: Alright too much time on the keyboard...headed out the door to the gym:LOL:
 
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after falling down in my garden , and not being able to get up for about 15 min . finally struggled around and mashing things I finally managed to get up. i built a low chair with arms , very strong . now i can reach the ground without bending over. also modified a shovel and do a lot standing.i also practice getting up from the floor.88 and not going to quit.
 
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after falling down in my garden , and not being able to get up for about 15 min . finally struggled around and mashing things I finally managed to get up. i built a low chair with arms , very strong . now i can reach the ground without bending over. also modified a shovel and do a lot standing.i also practice getting up from the floor.88 and not going to quit.
Shoot I'm 70 but with only one Arm and Leg working well I fall which is often, I'm down until someone gets me up.

I'm trying big time to garden and do well until I mess up.

big rockpile
 

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