It’s that time of year again when the garden beckons for our attention! After a few months of inactivity – for the garden blossoms and your outdoor gardening activity – it’s easy to overdo it when you do get back outside.
Here are a few things to keep in mind as you venture into the wilds of your yard this spring:
- Avoid bending with your low back.
- Squat with your knees, or kneel down on both knees with one arm out creating a “tripod” effect for stabilization. Or better yet, sit on a small stool or using a kneeling bench for comfort on your knees
- Use caution when pulling on stubborn weeds.
- Sudden jerking or twisting motions as roots give way can cause problems with your spine.
- Carry heavy or awkward objects close to your body.
- “Hug” items in tight to you. Keeping the load close to your center of gravity reduces the risk of strain on your neck and back.
- Stay hydrated. Wear a hat and sunscreen.
- You are expending energy, remember to drink water often. While the sun may seem weak still in the early season, even mild sunlight can cause damage if you’re not careful.
- Stretch often and take movement breaks as much as you can.
- Staying in one position for long periods of time isn’t healthy for your body. Remember to stand up and stretch every now and then. Take a stroll along your yard to keep joints moving and limber while you admire your work.
- Be body aware.
- Be aware of your posture and use good placement. When mowing the lawn, stand upright and maintain good core body position. Rake using both arms for a balanced impact on your body.
- When shovelling, point your feet where the dirt goes.
- No twisting and turning while you toss those shovels of dirt out of your way. As a rule of thumb, toes always point in the direction you are throwing the dirt.
With some attention to alignment and proper rest breaks, your forays into the garden this spring can be injury free for your spinal health.
If you do notice any twinges or pains that don’t go away after some rest and stretching, consult your medical professional such as a Chiropractor, Physiotherapist or Registered Massage Therapist to help with assessing your body’s needs.
Enjoy the gardening and stay healthy!