Gardening is a great way to keep active and reduce stress but it can be strenuous. Having a strong core and keeping flexible will make gardening more pleasurable. Some simple exercises you can do to help prevent gardening injury are squats, lunges and core exercises as it’s these muscles which need to be engaged (that means working) to prevent you from over-using the back.
With the gardening season well and truly upon us, here are some tips to help protect you from injury as you get gardening.
- Do a short brisk walk and a few simple upper body and leg stretches and to get your blood flowing and muscles warm before you start.
- Change gardening positions every 30 minutes as prolonged bending can put strain on the discs in your spine and lead to injury. Alternate between pruning and planting.
- When working at ground level weeding or planting, squat down or kneel and avoid bending at the waist.
- Protect knees by using a kneeling cushion and try to kneel on one knee at a time, placing half your weight through the opposite foot to give some counter-balance to the spine. Switch sides regularly.
- Use long handled gardening tools where possible.
- When lifting or moving heavy objects make sure you engage your core, squeeze your gluts (buttock muscles) & keep a straight back.
- As well as watering the garden, water yourself! Take regular breaks to rest & rehydrate.
Remember….Rome wasn’t built in a day and the garden can’t be tackled in a day. Spread the tasks over days and weeks and enjoy the great garden workout.
If your symptoms persist for more than 24 hours then please call us to book an appointment. Often early osteopathy treatment can nip a problem in the bud (no pun intended!).