Tips For Gardening
As we get closer to spring, many people start to think about their gardens and what seeds they’re going to plant for the coming season. Gardening can be hard on the body and lead to back, neck, knee, and hip pain. To help you prepare for your gardening endeavors, here are some tips to get you in shape for spring.
Warm up first.
Gardening is a physical task so it’s important to warm up to prepare your body for the hard work. This can help prevent injury and reduce soreness afterward.
– Walk around
– Shoulder rolls and hip rolls
– Bend your knees and do small lunges
– Gently rotate your back as your arms swing across your chest
Have a seat.
Use a stool or bucket to sit on as you weed or dig to avoid too much bending or kneeling. You could also use a cushion or knee pads to kneel on for comfort. Take rest breaks to walk around after 20 minutes in a squatting or kneeling position.
Maintain proper body mechanics.
Gardening can involve a lot of bending, lifting, and digging which can put stress on the body. Remember to lift with the knees and not the back. Avoid hunching your back and shoulders and instead, bend at the hips. Keep your shoulders down and back instead of up by your ears to avoid straining your neck and shoulders.
Take your time.
Start with 20-30 minutes of gardening and then take a break. You can work up to spending more time in the garden, but it’s important to ease into it at the start of the season to prevent too much fatigue and potential injury. Some soreness initially can be expected, so take rest breaks as needed so you don’t wear yourself out. We’ve had a long winter and for some people, spring is when they get back to doing more physical activity – aside from shoveling- so take your time with getting back into the swing of things.
It can get hot outside, especially when working up a sweat in the garden, so make sure you drink plenty of fluids throughout the day to keep hydrated. Dehydration can lead to muscle cramping and fatigue, so it’s important to have water on hand to beat the heat.
If aches and pains persist after a few days and don’t go away, contact one of our clinics to get scheduled for an evaluation. We can help improve your mobility and strength to lessen pain. No referral is needed with some insurance plans!