Gardening in Spring is fun!
Spring is here and the weather is continually getting brighter! Many are out there in the garden planting pretty flowers, stacking stones, digging the soil, spreading the mulch, and so many other gardening activities that are enjoyable. It’s also a time where we are all coming out of the house and finally getting the sun.
Are you gardening safely?
If you are not gardening safely, you are prone to injury especially to the neck, shoulders, and elbows. Our bodies may not be prepared for these gardening activities. Weekend gardeners hurry to finish their projects over the weekend. The stress that is placed on the body, especially on the neck and upper body, may cause serious problems.
Tips for safe gardening
These are some safe gardening tips to help prevent injury from happening.
1. Stretch. Stretching before and after gardening is a simple way to warm up and cool down your body. Simple stretches can be done to the neck by bending and turning side to side, head down and back , holding for 5 secs for 10 times; rolling shoulders forward and back 10-20 times; pinching shoulder blades together 10-20 times.
2. Lift with your legs. Bend your knees when lifting to protect your neck and lower back. Don’t lift anything heavy. Many gardeners want to get the job done and lift heavier than they can handle. Heavy lifting makes you extend your neck and back which causes injury. Proper body mechanics can save your spine.
3. Use tools. Man has made tools to make the job easier – use it. A dolly or wheelbarrow helps transport objects faster and safer. Shovels, and soil tillers are great to use. They have longer handles to prevent long periods of stooping.
4. Take breaks in between. Getting out of the stooped position is good to relieve your body from the stressful position you’re in. Take frequent breaks to drink water to hydrate your muscles. Wear a hat or stay in the shade while gardening.
Gardening is a fun activity. The work you put in is very rewarding – trying to get it done may be harmful if the body is not ready for all the activities that come with it like lifting, bending, stooping, and pushing. Try these simple tips for safe gardening and you will surely feel good. If you do experience pain or injury, a physical therapist can help you with your problem.