5 TIPS TO STAY INJURY FREE THIS GARDENING SEASON!!
With the awesome weather lately and the days getting longer, lots of people are excited to get their gardens ready for the rest of spring and summer! Unfortunately this “weekend warrior gardening” excitement has led to back muscle strains and injury. I have had several clients come in these past few weeks complaining of back pain (upper, middle and lower).
Most of these muscle injury scenarios could be addressed through some simple postural considerations while gardening.
Here are some 5 tips to consider:
1. As with most exercise, a proper warm up can be useful. Go for a short walk and make sure to do ‘pendulum arm swings’ while walking. This will help to get the arms ready for gardening.
2. Always maintain a straight spine. Avoid rounding your back and reaching out too far. Bring yourself and your tools closer to the area of the garden you are working on. This also applies when reaching overhead. Use a step stool or a small ladder if necessary.
3. If need be, kneel on one leg to help support your back.
4. When lifting heavy objects, use your legs to lift and maintain a straight back and relaxed shoulders.
5. When carrying loads, such as buckets, try to equalize the sides so you aren’t leaning to one side.
If you are needing a “reminder” as you are gardening, then utilizing post it notes placed in your garden with words such as “keep the back straight” or “lift with your knees” or “don’t reach” can be useful.
Finally, set a time limit. Especially if you really love gardening it is easy to lose track of time and overdo it.
Hope this helps and happy gardening!!
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