Yard Work Helps Keep Seniors Fit and Healthy

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Posted on: 04 May 2016 by Mary Bowen

Yard work is often considered one of the necessary evils of owning your own home. However, these tasks can also be a blessing for older people who may not get many opportunities to work in the outdoors. Lawn maintenance, gardening, trimming and watering tasks can help to keep you active and fit to prevent many of the physical troubles involved in aging.

Yard work is often considered one of the necessary evils of owning your own home. However, these tasks can also be a blessing for older people who may not get many opportunities to work in the outdoors. Lawn maintenance, gardening, trimming and watering tasks can help to keep you active and fit to prevent many of the physical troubles involved in aging. 

Lawn Care

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To keep your lawn green and weed-free, you must provide regular maintenance that can help to keep you active and in the fresh air. Invest in a good lawn mower that is self-propelled, so that you do not have to push the mower. Have the mower regularly maintained to keep the blades sharp and mechanical parts functioning properly. Avoid cutting grass plants too short or allowing them too grow too long. Proper watering and periodic application of fertilizer will help to keep your grass plants strong and resistant to weeds, insects and disease. Monitor your lawn for signs of insect damage, such as yellowing of the grass or poor growth. Talk to your local garden center to learn the appropriate insecticides to use in your area. You may need to re-seed to fill in bare areas where damage has occurred. Keep grass seedlings watered for the first few weeks to encourage strong root growth. Spring is the best time of year for re-seeding of lawns.

Gardening

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Gardening can be an excellent hobby for older people, getting them out into the outdoors, moving around and providing interest in new specimens, products and techniques. If you have a love for flowers of all kinds, creating a garden will allow you to indulge your aesthetic sense and learn a wealth of new information about types, growth patterns and other interesting topics. In addition, the kneeling, reaching, carrying and digging involved in gardening can help to keep your muscles tones and your circulation in top form. 

Weeding
Weed growth can be a constant problem in grass, in garden beds and beneath shrubbery. Getting down on your hands and knees can be a good way to get your exercise, as well as to reduce the amount of herbicides that can disrupt the ecology of your area. Kneepads can help to reduce the strain on tender joints. These pads are sold at garden centers and home improvement stores. You can also use a garden cart to help remove heavy bags of weeds, twigs and grass clippings from your yard areas. 

Trimming
Trees and bushes may require occasional trimming to improve their appearance and prevent damage to nearby structures and passing people. Even older people can manage this periodic trimming, but keep your efforts to lower branches and those at eye level. However, older people should avoid climbing on ladders to reach high branches. They may not have the muscle strength or balance to maintain a safe position. These problems can lead to dangerous falls that can have serious consequences. Leave the higher trimming work for to a yard maintenance contractor. Simple tasks like trimming grass from sidewalks and driveways can be done easily with a string trimmer. You can research online some of the string trimmer reviews for information on weight of the devices and ease of use to ensure that you purchase the right one for your needs. 

Care of Hardscapes
In most cases, you will not have to do more for your sidewalks, courtyards and driveways than sweeping or cleaning them off with the garden hose. However, over time, your hardscapes may develop cracks and uneven areas that should be repaired to prevent further damage and poor appearance. Your local home improvement center will have a variety of products to repair driveways and sidewalk areas. These tasks can be done with a minimum of effort and will provide you with activity in the outdoors that is conducive to good health.

Outdoor Furniture
Your outdoor furniture is an important part of the enjoyment of your yard areas. Carefully inspect the furniture, noting areas of damaged paint, loose or missing screws and other problems. You can do minor repairs yourself, but for larger problems, you may need to consult a handyman to help you return the items to use. Apply a new coat of paint or provide a high-quality stain to renew the look of the furniture. 

Older people can use their required yard maintenance as an additional form of exercise that helps to keep them moving and fit. However, always limit your tasks to suit your individual activity level, and don’t be afraid to get professional help when needed.

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