Osteopath Rohan writes about the health benefits of gardeningby rohan iswariah on 03/04/16
There is plenty of research to show that gardening is good for your health
However gardening can cause aches and pains in the back, shoulders, elbows and knees mainly.
In this blog I will try to advise on how gardening is good for your general health and also how to avoid injury when participating?
Ten Health benefits.
Gardening can reduce the risk of stroke along with other exercise
Gardening burns calories. One hour of light work can burn 300+ calories,
3. Engaging in at least four hours of any exercise each week is associated with weight loss, reported the authors of a review published in “Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise” in February 2009.
4. Gardening includes weight-bearing and muscle-strengthening exercise which are important for building and maintaining bone density
5. Gardening can reduce psychological stresses and might be more effective than some other forms of exercise a report from the Netherlands suggested.
6. This in turn can help prevent the leaching of calcium from bone into the blood to balance the acidic stress hormones like cortisol.
7. Vitamin D is essential for healthy bones by enhancing intestinal absorption of calcium; we get most of ours from sunlight exposure, and gardening is largely an outside pursuit
8. The best times to make vitamin D from sunlight is from March to October, especially from 11am to 3pm. Remember to avoid overexposure to sunlight though!
9. The connection to land has profound mood boosting benefits.
10. As too much stress weakens the immune system, it follows that any activity that helps us to relax will improve the immune system.
Many benefits are afforded by hobbies involving gardening but we need to do this safely and try to avoid injury.
Twelve tips to reduce injury risks.
1. Don`t do a lot of heavy lifting, digging or weeding in one go to avoid over-fatigue
2. Avoid bending forwards for long periods and take regular breaks
3. Access ground level by kneeling but avoid to much pressure on the knee caps by using a kneeler
4. Wet soil may be easier to dig but is heavier to carry
5. Use smaller spades with longer handles (Better leverage)
6. Weeding by using a hoe can help and remember large roots can be awkward so don`t twist the body too much when pulling
7. Divide up large loads for carrying, try to use a wheelbarrow when possible
8. Work at comfortable heights where possible
9. Avoid rotating too much when mowing lawns with hover mowers and be careful when pulling the cord on petrol mowers
10. A hot bath can help relax muscles afterwards, but remember if you have injured yourself heat can make inflammation worse so seek advice
11. Also seek advice if an ache or pain persists and doesn`t seem to be going away
12. Stay hydrated !
Rohan Iswariah D.O. (Registered Osteopath)
www.localosteopath.com (Phone 01491-838866 for free advice)