As we grow older it can sometimes be trickier to perform the same, vigorous exercises that we took part in once upon a time. That doesn't mean you have to sit in a chair all day and never get outside, however, because there are still plenty of activities seniors can enjoy to stay fit, keep healthy and live an active lifestyle. According to the American Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), around two and a half hours a week of physical activity can help alleviate joint stiffness and arthritic pain, on top of making you feel more energised. 

Gardening is a hugely popular activity and is a great way for seniors to stay healthy. Active people are less likely to suffer from type-2 diabetes, depression, obesity, heart disease and high blood pressure, so here are some tips for getting outside in your Newcastle retirement home and getting those fingers green. 

Raise it up

Constantly bending, kneeling and stooping can be painful for a tired or arthritic back, causing discomfort and back pain. Unfortunately, this may in turn discourage you from getting outside. There are some easy solutions, however. If you're planning on planting veges, flowers, or any other kind of low-height plant, consider building or purchasing a raised planter. If you're worried about installing it yourself, just ask the staff at Sugar Valley – they'll be more than happy to assist. 

Watch the sun

The Australian sun can get pretty toasty during the middle of the day, especially in summer when Newcastle temperatures reach nearly 30 degrees Celsius. In order to protect yourself from heat exhaustion, sun burn and dehydration, you always need to cover yourself properly with clothing so your skin isn't too exposed. Also, a sun hat and sunglasses will help protect your head and eyes, while sunscreen will protect your skin. Lastly, keep a cool bottle of water on hand at all times and remember to drink regularly to combat dehydration and help keep cool.

Take care of your muscles

As great as staying active is, muscle pain and soreness can be really uncomfortable the next day. Before you get out into the garden, make sure you stretch to limber up those muscles and help prevent tomorrow's aches. Another great suggestion is changing up your gardening tasks every 30 or so minutes. If you're fiddling with small tasks for too long it can wear down on smaller muscles, so rotating your work will effectively spread the load and keep any one muscular group from wearing out too quickly. 

gardening with tomatoes