Presbyterian | Your Story | Centennial Care | Spring 2024 7 Be safe while cleaning If spring has sparked the urge to clean up around your home, be sure to follow these basic safety tips: • When using a ladder, don’t lean too far on either side. Your belly button should not go beyond the sides of the ladder. • Lift heavy items properly. Keep your back straight and lift with your legs. • Cleaning the floor? Warn family members that the floor will be wet and slippery. • Don’t clutter walkways or stairs with boxes, bags, and other items people might trip over. • Try not to carry too many items at one time. You should always be able to see over the load you are carrying so you don’t trip. • Be sure not to mix cleaning products. This is especially true for ammonia and bleach, which combine to make toxic fumes. Plan your (edible) garden Planning and planting a garden of edible plants is a great way to get exercise and eat more healthy food. You can grow a variety of fruits and vegetables in your backyard. Try broccoli, spinach, lettuce, tomatoes, strawberries, and melons, to name a few. Don’t have a backyard or one large enough for a garden? Consider growing produce in containers or joining a community garden. Adding fruits and vegetables to your meals can lower your risk for chronic diseases, like heart disease and some types of cancer. And the fiber found in produce can help regulate your gut. Being outdoors and working in a garden can be good for your mental health too. According to the NIH, studies have found that being active outdoors in nature can improve your mood and lessen anxiety.