Arthritis affects around 350 million people worldwide and can sometimes make gardening feel like an impossible task. However, before you hang up your gardening gloves, it’s worth considering all the health benefits gardening can offer, particularly when used alongside an effective medication or treatment plan. With a little planning, it’s possible to adapt your garden design, choose tools
Arthritis affects around 350 million people worldwide and can sometimes make gardening feel like an impossible task. However, before you hang up your gardening gloves, it’s worth considering all the health benefits gardening can offer, particularly when used alongside an effective medication or treatment plan. With a little planning, it’s possible to adapt your garden design, choose tools to make life easier, and pace yourself so that you can still enjoy the health benefits of gentle activity, fresh air and watching your garden blossom.
Staying active with arthritis
The Arthritis Foundation recommends gentle exercise for easing pain and improving energy levels. Even a little gardening time counts; walking back and forth to mow the lawn or fetch what you need, gentle bending or squatting to tend to your plants, or carrying light weights such as a half-filled watering can or smaller gardening equipment can all add up. The key is to pace yourself, rest when you need to, and stop if something is too painful.
Bright and breezy
One of the very best benefits of gardening is the time spent in the fresh air and sunshine. Numerous studies have shown the health benefits of spending time in nature, and a little gardening in the sunshine can boost the immune system, reduce stress and help to improve conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis. However, it is worth noting that certain arthritis treatments can make skin more susceptible to the sun’s rays, so always wear high factor sunscreen and limit your exposure.
It’s understandable that experiencing frequent pain and discomfort can affect positivity and happiness, which may explain why the NRAS estimates that those with rheumatoid arthritis are three times more likely to experience depression. Scientists have found, though, that half an hour’s gardening can reduce stress and boost your mindset. It may not be a cure, but activities which keep hands busy, are mentally absorbing and yield fruitful results can boost feelings of happiness and wellbeing.
Adjusting for arthritis
If you are looking for ways to adjust your gardening habits to accommodate arthritis, there are various changes you can make. Lightweight ratchet or even battery powered secateurs are a great way to prune without having to use force or exert pressure on your knuckle or finger joints. Raised beds are a good solution if bending or kneeling is proving difficult; keep a gardening stool with you so you can rest in between tasks. Finally, look for tools which have been awarded the Ease of Use Commendation by the Arthritis Foundation, as these will have been rigorously tested to meet your needs and make life easier.
Experiencing arthritis doesn’t have to mean hanging up your gardening gloves. In fact, spending time in the garden can do you a great deal of good, so long as you don’t overdo it and adjust your habits to accommodate your needs. Sitting back, hearing the birds sing and admiring the results afterwards is sure to bring you a lot of joy; medicine in its own right
We have included this 30 minute documentray style video on arthritis in the hope that it will help sufferers. It covers many aspects of the condition, including the benefits of gardenng for arthritis.