Gardening is a Healthy Alternative

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Summer is entertaining season, and the outdoors is where most of us plan to host our guests. Therefore, now is the perfect time to start planning and planting, so your garden looks in top shape for the busy summer months. While gardening has proven health benefits, it is also important to protect your skin the sun, and from other potential irritants.

Health Benefits of Gardening

There is great satisfaction in spending time outdoors and being productive. There are numerous reported benefits of gardening, both physical and mental.  Whether you are tending to flowers, bushes or a vegetable patch, gardening allows us time to relax, be aware of the environment and gives us the benefit of exercise. Those new to gardening most commonly report an improvement in endurance, strength, mobility and flexibility from the physical activity, and a reduction in stress levels (clearing a garden bed of weeds is both relaxing and satisfying!). In addition, Vitamin D is produced when our skin is exposed to sunlight and this is encouraged — in limited amounts — for our general health.

Sun Protection Tips For Gardeners

gardeningWhile Vitamin D is important, you do not want to suffer sunburn. Time passes quickly when you are absorbed in a project so before going outdoors REMEMBER to apply sunscreen to your exposed areas. It is also important to follow the guidelines on your sunscreen container and reapply as recommended. A broad brimmed hat is a must, as is a long sleeved shirt and sunglasses. Another good idea is to try and plan your gardening tasks to follow the shade as the sun moves.

Avoid Potential Skin Problems

Skin reactions when out gardening are a common problem, especially for those who are new to it. Being able to identify hazardous plants takes time so it is important to take preventative measures –  wear proper gardening gloves, long sleeved tops and long pants. Watch out for thorns and spikey plants, as well as all those creepy crawlies that just love to bite! Lastly, wear enclosed shoes or boots to protect you from spiders that may lurk under foliage.