How to Avoid Injury while tending your garden
Gardening may not be your first thought when you are asked what physical activity, but all of that bending, lifting and moving dirt around is a great workout – and like any workout you need to make sure you take care of yourself and prevent injury. Today, we’re talking about safe gardening and how to enjoy the fruits and veggies of your labour while protecting your body.
1. Bend your Knees, NOT your Back
Raised garden beds and planters are gaining in popularity, but chances are if you’re planting or tending to a garden, you’ll be spending some time closer to the ground! Like any activity where you’ll be bending over, make sure you are bending from the knees and not your back.
Garden kneelers are a great way to be more comfortable when you’re working in the garden for a prolonged period of time and will allow you to get as close to your work area as possible.
2. Safely Lift Heavy Items
One of the things that makes gardening such a great workout is the addition of weights! Shovels, bags of soil and watering cans all add a resistance element to your gardening workout.
Here are a few things to pay attention to when practicing safe gardening:
- Pay attention to your form while you are lifting and moving heavy objects
- Avoid lifting heavy objects while your back is twisted or bent
- Where possible, divide the weight between your hands, or balance your load by a heavy object in the opposite hand as well
- Use assistive devices like a wheelbarrow to move heavy objects from one place to another
- Ask for help! You don’t have to garden alone, get your partner or kids involved in the heavy work.
3. Warm Up and Cool Down
Now that you know more about what a good workout gardening can be, you need to prepare for it the same way you would any other exercise! Take a few minutes and do some simple stretches to warm up – easy arm circles in both directions and spine twists and bends are ideal.
Take breaks every 20 – 30 minutes if you’re working on your knees for a long period of time and stretch out your back. Support your lumbar spine and lean back as far as is comfortable – it should not hurt!
We hope you enjoyed these tips for safe gardening! Remember that you can come and visit us anytime to keep your body healthy and happy.