Gardening Tips to Help You Stay Injury-Free
It’s that time of year when we at North Beds Osteopaths see lots of people who have hurt themselves gardening. After months of not exercising in the garden, the weather changes and people rush out hell-bent on getting everything straight in one day. Here are some tips for getting through the spring and summer as injury-free as possible.
- Warm up before strenuous digging – a walk round the garden & some gentle stretches will help you to prepare for the activity.
- Pace yourself – it is vital that you take regular breaks and don’t do too much at once. Listen to your body.
- Vary your activity. Switch tasks regularly to avoid over-stressing any one area of your body i.e. dig for a short while, then prune, then sweep etc.
- Lift correctly – with bent knees and a straight back and with the object you’re carrying in as close to your body as possible.
- Always use a kneeler to protect your knees – those with frames are better as they help you get back up more easily from kneeling.
- Whilst weeding, if you can’t kneel, sit on an upturned bucket, but make sure you move it along frequently and work directly in front of yourself to avoid over-reaching.
- Don’t overstretch – get your body close to whatever you are working on and use stepladders if you’re working up high i.e. picking fruit or pruning.
- Use the right tools – long handled pruners/forks etc to prevent being bent over for too long.
- Switch sides regularly when brushing or digging to avoid uneven strain.
- Clear as you go rather than creating a large pile of grass cuttings or leaves and trying to lift it all in one go at the end of the day
- Consider raised beds – it is much kinder to your body to have your beds at a workable height.
- Drink plenty of fluids whilst gardening, especially on a warm day. Dehydration is dangerous and can cause tiredness and muscle weakness amongst other things.
- Have a rest afterwards, but don’t sit down immediately after gardening; go for a stroll to warm down. A warm bath or hot shower can help to relax your muscles afterwards.
Hopefully if you follow these few tips, you will come through the gardening season unscathed. If not, then you can always give us a call on 01234 823621 .