Thursday, April 19, 2007

Gardening heals


…Kim Painter, in USA Today, talks about the American Horticultural Therapy Association (www.ahta.org).

…Yes, gardening can be therapy.

…Rooting around in the dirt has been shown to lower BP, reduce stress, and even ease pain.

…This is so accepted these days that many hospitals are adding gardens where patients can putter around.

…In Portland, OR, the five-hospital Legacy Health System comes complete with dirt.

…HA once wrote a story on this subject for WebMD.

…Some observations: Gardening can also be good exercise, increasing endurance, flexibility and strength.

…Gardening is something you can do with the kids—and still keep an eye on them. ADHD has been linked to being inside too much.

…Gardening can also help memory retention in the elderly.

…Jeff Restuccio, author of Fitness the Dynamic Gardening Way, recommends alternating light with heavy activities. Rake, then dig, then prune. Change it up.

…Don’t forget to stretch first. …Restuccio also recommends exaggerating the motions to increase range of motion.

…Gardening can burn 100-200 cals an hour.

…Start small, the experts say. A 4x6 foot bed can produce a lot of flowers or herbs. And turning over that much earth can be a project!

…If you are allergic, it does not rule out gardening. Take a Bendryl first, one doctor says.

….Don’t douse on the pesticides and poisons, either.

…This is supposed to be good for you!

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