With all the extra time at home many have taken up new activities such as making growing more in their gardens. As great as gardening can be it can still be hard on the body. We see many people come in complaining of pain after spending a lot of time in the garden, how can you prevent it to keep that fresh produce growing? Here are some tips to keep in mind to keep you nimble this harvesting season.
Before you start working in the garden take a few minutes to warm up your muscles. Include some activity and stretches to your routine this could include going for a brisk 5 – 10-minute walk around the yard, squats, walking lunges and arm circles and stretches.
Muscles need water for optimal function. Adequate water levels in your body can help prevent the onset of muscle cramps or spasms and help prevent dehydration. Some people do not realize that small aches and pains can be made much worse with dehydration. So, before your body slips into dehydration mode, be proactive and drink water throughout the day, especially when outside in the sun. Keep a water bottle on hand and drink water frequently throughout each day.
Mix It Up
Switch between tasks as you go about your day in the garden. Repetitive tasks can be hard on your joints. Do a little bit of bending, digging, and pruning work. Do not perform any activity for too long, as your muscles will be exhausted.
Proper Posture and Form
Bending over at the waist for prolonged periods is a sure way to cause your back muscles to get upset. Kneel on a rubber gardening mat, sit on a gardening stool, or sit on the ground instead of bending for too long.
When lifting keep your back straight and bend with your knees and hips (not your back) when reaching down. When lifting keep your object close to you to avoid strain on your back. The power of your lift comes from your glutes and legs. If you are picking things up, make your piles small to decrease the weight.
Good shoes can make a huge difference in how you feel the next day after any activity. foot and arch support can stop some of that strain on your feet and all the way up into your back. Look into the right footwear for you. Ditch the flip flops and go for a more supportive pair of shoes.
Taking breaks will make it less likely for injuries to occur. Pushing yourself to get a job done although you are tired can make for sloppy posture, overuse of muscles, and poor lifting and bending.
Many of us ignore simple back aches and pains resulting from simple things like gardening. We tend to ignore them thinking they would go away the next day however they do return and they may return with a vengeance! Visit your physiotherapist to make sure this never happens, we can provide you with stretches and exercises to keep you strong so that you can continue to do the things you enjoy. Call to book an appointment to see a physiotherapist and get you back in action! Call 519-219-5428
Cambrige Physiotherapy & Rehab Center