Springtime is here (despite our recent rainy and cold weather) and many gardeners are anxious to get in their gardens.
According to the Canadian Physical Activity Guidelines, gardening is considered low impact activity, yet many gardeners end up with aches and pains after spending time in the garden.
This is particularly common, if you have been inactive over the winter months so we came up with some tips to keep you pain-free in the garden this year.
- Get a check-up: especially if you have been inactive over the winter months. It is never a bad idea to check in with your physician or health care provider before beginning any new physical activity.
- Wear appropriate clothing, use sunscreen, and wear a hat.
- Watch your back! A common cause of low back pain is poor lifting technique and staying in awkward positions for too long. When lifting always:
- Start with a wide base of support (feet shoulder width apart)
- When bending, keep your back long . The most bending should happen at your hips and knees.
- Lift slowly, and don’t hold your breath
- Keep the load as close to your body as possible.
- Don’t twist and turn at the waist while carrying something heavy or using a shovel.
- Don’t forget to use tools or get help if the lift is too heavy or too awkward. It takes extra time, but do you have time to have an injured back?
- Ease into gardening: gradually increase the amount of time you spend working in the garden just as you would with any physical activity you have not practiced in several months.
- Take breaks: and change positions frequently every 10-15 minutes. This prevent sustained awkward positions and strain on our muscles, joints, and ligaments.
- Practice safe kneeling: use kneepads or a special gardening mat. If you have had knee or hip surgery use a gardening bench or upside down bucket as a stool. Or even better elevate your gardening beds and containers.
Gardening is great physical activity to get you moving, so get out there and enjoy healthy, painfree yardwork this year.
If you have any questions or run into any aches or pains, we are here to help. So do not hesitate to contact us or give us a call at 902-694-6683