Hobbies and outdoor activities trigger many mental and physical health benefits. If you’ve found yourself completely absorbed by a spare-time activity, you’ve most probably enjoyed the rewarding benefits of doing something different, developing a new skill, and discovering new realms of knowledge.
Gardening has been a popular hobby for quite some time now and one of the reasons behind that is the fact that it involves not only physical activities but also requires the gardener to be mentally involved, responsible, and organized.
Whether you are an expert in gardening or a beginner, your health and safety should always be your priority when engaging in this activity. Here are a few tips to help you keep your gardening healthy and safe.
Wear safe equipment
Even if gardening is a hobby, it should not be treated lightly. Incidents and injuries may occur if you don’t dress appropriately. The sunrays, chemicals involved in gardening, sharp tools used for certain parts of it, and garden and lawn pests can all affect you.
While you can use rock salt guns to keep pests and insects away, you need to wear the right equipment to protect yourself from all the potentially harmful agents you encounter when gardening.
A pair of long pants, long-sleeved shirts, safety goggles, gloves, and durable shoes are compulsory. Without such items, you will expose your skin to chemicals that could harm you and to equipment and tools that might cause injuries. You can thus prevent cuts and reduce the risk for contaminants and skin irritations.
Covering your body and using an insect repellent will also help you keep mosquitoes and ticks at bay and lower the risk of getting the diseases they carry. Don’t forget about using sunscreen with high sun protective factor, hats, and sun shades. By adding such items to your gardening equipment, you will lower your risk for skin cancer and sunburn.
Use your gardening equipment and tools properly
Even if you garden out of passion and just as a free-time activity, you should take this seriously and learn how to use the various tools required properly. We may tend to think that there is no rocket science behind the use of a hand trowel, knife, or a weeder and, while using them may not be something difficult, it surely can get dangerous if they are not handled properly.
Read the labels of the products and chemicals you need to use and follow the instructions carefully. Learn more about injury prevention before starting your gardening and eliminate all the things, chemicals, or tools that pose a high risk of injuries. Gardening should be a fun and safe activity. Do your homework before starting to keep it so.
Consider your health conditions and physical limits
Even if gardening is a hobby, it is best to keep it within the limits of decency. Don’t overdo it by staying too much in the sun and heat as you can develop heat-related illnesses otherwise. Make sure that you drink enough fluids if you intend to be outside for many hours, but avoid fluids that contain sugar or alcohol.
Take breaks frequently and rest indoors or in shaded areas. Learn more about the signs of heat-related illnesses so you can identify them easily. Some of the most common signs include dizziness, headache, and nausea. Whenever you notice such symptoms, it is best to interrupt your outdoor activities and rest or call your doctor if they get worse.
If you carry out outdoor activities with infants or adults with certain health conditions, keep an eye on them and make sure they wear the right equipment, engage in moderate physical activities, and don’t stay too much in the heat.
Avoid using tools, climbing ladders, or operating machinery if you are taking medications that affect your reaction time and judgment or that may make you dizzy or drowsy. If you suffer from arthritis, opt for tools that are easy to grasp and fit your condition.
Gardening can be a rewarding experience, yet making sure it is a pleasant and beneficial activity calls for attention and a few safety steps you need to take before getting started.