Gardening benefits include more than fresh vegetables. A daily practice of working the garden can also help you stay fit and young!

Think about it. Doing chores like watering, weeding, and fertilizing work all the muscles that don’t get worked by sitting or watching TV. Garden chores keep you busy and help you stay fit by bending, lifting and moving in a safe and sustainable way. It’s a gentle way to get some great exercise.

However, the plants are not the only ones dealing with hot weather. You are too! Spending time under the sun as you care for your flowers and vegetables can take a toll on your joints and back. Instead of applying ice packs to sore area every time you head out to the garden, set up an evaluation with a STARS therapist who can teach you how to combat the pain through exercise and physical therapy!     

Older couple getting gardening benefits by working in their garden.
Working a small garden is a great way for older people to get gentle exercise.

Be In the Dirt, Pain Free

When you spend your day kneeling and bending, your joints can become stiff and inflamed. They may swell up, causing the hour or two you spend nurturing your garden to be an hour or two that’s increasingly uncomfortable. This is especially true if you stay in one spot for an extended period of time.

In order to loosen up your stiff joints, a STARS physical therapist will often customize daily exercises to improve blood flow and stretch those sore and stiff regions in your body. The exercises may center around “stretching, strengthening, toning and stability.” Or they may focus on pain relief and relaxation, like using manual and E-STEM (electrical muscle stimulation) therapy.

How you use your body is unique. Sometimes, it requires a unique plan to ease pain and get back to a place where you can tend your garden.

Bending over to water your garden can be a painful task if you’re not in good shape.

While you nurture your garden, fertilize the soil, and replenish it with water, don’t forget to nurture your body. If you are experiencing unwanted and lasting pain from time spent tending to your garden, STARS therapists are here to help you get your hands back into the dirt pain-free!

Contact STARS Physical Therapy today for a consultation about how we can help you get the most out of your summer.