Get Out and Garden
Gardening can be a great way to enjoy the outdoors, get physical activity, beautify the community, and grow nutritious fruits and vegetables. If you are a beginner or expert gardener, health and safety should always be a priority. Gardening is an excellent way to get physical activity. Active people are less likely than inactive people to be obese or have high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes, osteoporosis, heart disease, stroke, depression, colon cancer, and premature death.
Below are some tips to help keep you safe and healthy so that you can enjoy the beauty and bounty gardening can bring.
GARDENING TIPS FOR A HEALTHY, HAPPY BOUNTY
- Dress to protect.
- Gear up to protect yourself from lawn and garden pests, harmful chemicals, sharp or motorized equipment, insects, and harmful rays of too much sun.
- Wear safety goggles, sturdy shoes, and long pants to prevent injury when using power tools and equipment.
- Protect your hearing when using machinery. If you have to raise your voice to talk to someone who is an arm’s length away, the noise can be potentially harmful to your hearing.
- Wear gloves to lower the risk for skin irritations, cuts, and certain contaminants.
- Use insect repellent containing DEET. Protect yourself from diseases caused by mosquitoes and ticks. Wear long-sleeved shirts, and pants tucked in your socks. You may also want to wear high rubber boots since ticks are usually located close to the ground.
- Lower your risk for sunburn and skin cancer. Wear long sleeves, wide-brimmed hats, sun shades, and sunscreen with sun protective factor (SPF) 15 or higher.
- Get vaccinated. Vaccinations can prevent many diseases and save lives. All adults should get a tetanus vaccination every 10 years. Tetanus lives in the soil and enters the body through breaks in the skin. Because gardeners use sharp tools, dig in the dirt, and handle plants with sharp points, they are particularly prone to tetanus infections. Before you start gardening this season, make sure your tetanus/diphtheria (Td) vaccination is up to date.
Proper use of pesticides has proved beneficial to our society. World food production and control of infectious diseases are dependent on pesticides. However, it is necessary to recognize the dangers of pesticides to humans, pets and the environment.
When properly used, pesticides should give satisfactory pest control in the home and garden without endangering anyone or the environment. To minimize the dangers of pesticides, use appropriate pesticides only when necessary and with the utmost caution and respect. Check with your state’s Agricultural Department if you have any questions about the use of pesticides in your garden.