Gardening can be a very satisfying activity and is a great form of exercise. While you are outside planting bulbs, pulling weeds, and mowing the lawn, it is important to remember to pay attention to your joints and muscles as this hobby comes with increased risk of aches and pains if your body is not ready for this activity. We have put together 10 tips to help you get the most out of gardening, while keeping your body safe from injury.
1. Warm Up
In our previous blog post, we discussed the importance of warming up before exercising. Like any other exercise, gardening requires preparing your body by raising your body temperature and increasing blood flow to your muscles. While gardening, here are some important muscle groups to focus on:
- Upper legs
While your hands are hard at work, take in some deep breaths to provide energy to your muscles.
3. Avoid Carrying Heavy Items
Carrying large bags of mulch or soil and heavy pots should be avoided. Consider using a wheeled cart or wheelbarrows to transfer heavy items from one end of the garden to the other. When lifting the items onto the cart remember to lift with your legs, making sure to bend at the knees or ask a friend or family member to help move heavy items.
4. Use the Right Tools
Consider using tools with good grips and cushioning and ensure they are the right size to avoid fatigue or injury. Ensuring you are using the right tools will prevent from straining.
5. Avoid Bending
While pulling weeds or planting, instead of bending try kneeling and using knee pads or a stool to make the process easier on your body.
6. Vary Your Tasks
To ensure you are not holding the same position for long periods of time, change your tasks.
7. Take Breaks
It is easy to lose track of time when you are so focused at the task at hand, but it is important to listen to your body’s cues. Take frequent breaks to give your joints and muscles time to rest. Set a timer for every 20 minutes to help yourself remember to take those breaks by standing up, stretching, and walking around to avoid overdoing it.
8. Drink Water
When you are physically active your body sweats as it tries to return to its optimal temperature. As sweat evaporates from your skin, it removes heat from the body, but you also lose body fluid and drinking water will help replace the fluids you lose when you sweat. This will help reduce the risk of heat stress and sustain normal body function.
9. Wear Sun Protection
The effects of harmful UV rays can be considerable, so it is important to remember to protect yourself from the sun. Consider wearing a hat with a wide brim and apply sunscreen.
10. Listen to Your Body
If your body is sending you messages through subtle aches and pains, do not push through and ignore it. Listen to your body and take a break, change positions, or change your task.
While you are outside enjoying the outdoors and helping your garden flourish, remember to be aware of your posture. If you feel muscle aches and pains after your time spent in the garden, call our clinic at 604-742-0111 to book a chiropractic appointment and/or laser therapy session.
To help you return to optimal health, we are offering you 50% off your first chiropractic appointment with Dr. Guenette and/or laser therapy session! This offer is valid until May 31, 2021. When you call to book your appointment, just mention that you found this promotion on our blog.