Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Posts Tagged ‘Health and Wellness’

“I was just sittin’ here enjoyin’ the company.  Plants got a lot to say, if you take the time to listen.” – Eeyore from Winnie the Pooh.

Are you looking to spend more time with your family?  Want to become more physically active?  How about needing to go to a place for peace, tranquility and relaxation?  Do you need to adopt better health habits?  Well, if you take the time to stop and “listen,” gardening just might be the activity you are looking for!

The health benefits of gardening include:garden pic

  • Increasing the chances of eating the amount of produce recommended in the Dietary Guidelines for Americans.
  • Consuming more plant-based foods which are associated with less risk of obesity, diabetes, heart disease and cancer.
  • Becoming more physically active to reduce the risk of heart disease, diabetes and some types of cancer.
  • Strengthening bones and muscles.
  • Improving physical functioning in older adults: helps keep hands strong and agile.
  • Reducing stress.
  • Being around nature which has the potential to lower blood pressure and boost the immune system.

Research and studies show the following:

  • Gardening 3-5 times a week has been found to be a good strategy to combat obesity and lower stress.
  • Patients with chronic musculoskeletal pain taking part in horticultural therapy programs experience an improved ability to cope with chronic pain.
  • Children with attention deficit disorder who play in grassy, outdoor spaces have less severe symptoms than those who play in windowless, indoor settings.
  • Patients with clinical depression who participated in routine therapeutic gardening activities experienced a reduction of severity of depression and increased attentional capacity —benefits that lasted up to three months after the program ended.
  • Dementia patients who have access to gardens are less likely to display aggression or suffer injuries, and they display improved sleep patterns, balanced hormones and decreased agitation.

What are some additional benefits of Gardening?

  • Nutrition Awareness – Impacting positive food choices.
  • Environmental Awareness – Teaching children about their environment. “Gardens are often the most accessible places for children to learn about nature’s beaugard picty, interconnections, power, fragility, and solace.” (Heffernan, M. (1994).
  • Life Skills – Increasing appreciation for nature, responsibility and development of family involvement.
  • Health and Wellness – Improving the quality of life.
  • Community Building and Social Connections through Community Gardens – Developing positive and friendly interactions with neighbors.

Some final thoughts about Gardening

“Gardening simply does not allow one to be mentally old, because too many hopes and dreams are yet to be realized.” – Dr. Allan Armitage

“In the spring, at the end of the day, you should smell like dirt.” – Margaret Atwood

“The glory of gardening: hands in the dirt, head in the sun, heart with nature. To nurture a garden is to feed not just the body, but the soul.” – Alfred Austin

Yes, Eeyore, we need to “listen” because plants have a lot to say!

Written by:  Janet Wasko Myers, Program Assistant, Horticulture, Ohio State University Extension, Clark County, myers.31@osu.edu

Reviewed by:  Kathy Green, Extension Educator, Family and Consumer Sciences, Ohio State University Extension, Clark County, green.1405@osu.edu

Reviewed by:  Pamela Bennett, Extension Educator, Horticulture, Ohio State University Extension, Clark County, bennett.27@osu.edu

Sources:

The Ohio State University.  College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences. News:  Chow Line:  Working in garden yields multiple benefits. https://cfaes.osu.edu/news/articles/chow-line-working-in-garden-yields-multiple-benefits

The Ohio State University.  College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences.
News:  New OARDC Garden Will Help Study Links Between Plants and Health.
https://cfaes.osu.edu/news/articles/new-oardc-garden-will-help-study-links-between-plants-and-health

 

Michigan State University Extension.  What are the physical and mental benefits of gardening?  http://msue.anr.msu.edu/news/what_are_the_physical_and_mental_benefits_of_gardening

Cornell University.  College of Agriculture & Life Sciences.  Learn, Garden & Reflect with Cornell Garden-Based Learning.
http://gardening.cals.cornell.edu

Office of Disease Prevention and Health Promotion.    https://health.gov/dietaryguidelines/

 

Read Full Post »

Did you brush your teeth this morning?  Did you floss? brushing teeth

Most of us know we need to brush and floss, but we get in a rush. So, why is brushing our teeth so important.  We all know that brushing our teeth can prevent tooth decay.  What about other diseases?

Having good oral health can help prevent or lessen the chance of these diseases or problems:

  • Cardiovascular Disease – Gum disease (periodontitis) from oral bacteria may be a link to heart disease, clogged arteries and stroke according to some research.
  • Endocarditis – Gum disease may cause this infection to the inner lining of the heart
  • Premature birth and low birth weight has been linked to gum disease.
  • Alzheimer’s disease – Losing teeth before age 35 puts you at risk.
  • Osteoporosis may be associated with tooth loss and periodontal bone loss.
  • Having Diabetes increases your risk of gum disease.

So, we all need to work into our schedules brushing our teeth at least twice a day. Try to make one of those times be before you go to bed.  Use good technique taking time to do a thorough job.  (See tips below.)  You can use an electric/battery or manual toothbrush, whatever works best for you.  Foods that are acidic or contain sugar or starch can produce acids in your mouth that can harm tooth enamel for 20 minutes or more.  After consuming these foods avoid brushing your teeth for at least 30 minutes.

Floss your teeth at least once a day, as flossing helps decrease your risk of having gum disease and tooth decay.  Use whatever kind of floss or flossing tool works best for you.

Did you know your toothbrush could make you sick?  Here are a few tips to help you prevent that:

  • Wash your hands.  Be sure to wash your hands before and after to avoid spreading germs into your mouth and to others after brushing. toothbrush
  • Use a new toothbrush very four months.  Toothbrushes can wear out.  Replace your toothbrush after an illness..
  • After brushing rinse your toothbrush with water and store upright allowing it to air-dry. Don’t cover it until completely dry.  Store your toothbrush so that it doesn’t touch other toothbrushes.   Airborne bacteria grow well in the warm, moist environment like a bathroom.
  • Don’t share your toothbrush with others.  .
  • It is not necessary to sanitize your toothbrush using a mouthwash, sanitizer, dishwasher or microwave oven.
  • When someone is sick have them use a different  tube of  toothpaste, such as a travel size.  Sharing tubes of toothpaste can result in cross-contamination of germs.

Author:  Pat Brinkman, Extension Educator Family and Consumer Sciences, Ohio State University Extension, Miami Valley EERA

Reviewed by:  Liz Smith, M.S., R.D., L.D. NE Regional Program Specialist, SNAP-ED, Ohio State University Extension.

References:

Delta Dental, [2012]. Can Your Toothbrush Make You Sick,  Downloaded from http://www.deltadentalins.com/oral_health/toothbrush.html on February 19, 2013.

Mayo Clinic Staff, [2011].  Electric Toothbrush:  Better than a Manual Toothbrush?  Answered by Alan Carr, D.M.D.,  Downloaded from http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/electric-toothbrush/AN01705   on February 18, 2013.

Mayo Clinic Staff, [2011].  Oral health:  A Window to Your Overall Health, Downloaded from http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/dental/DE00001 on February 18, 2013.

Mayo Clinic Staff, [2011].  Oral Health:  Brush up on Dental Care Basics, Downloaded from http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/dental/DE00003  on February 18, 2013.

Mayo Clinic Staff, [2010].  When to brush Your Teeth, Answered by Alan Carr, D.M.D., Downloaded from http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/brushing-your-teeth/AN02098 on February 18, 2013

Read Full Post »