Garden with care

gardening-apmr-t153998329v2When you think of strenuous activities, gardening may not come to mind. Yet all of that digging, raking, planting and weeding can strain or stress muscles and joints—especially if you’re usually sedentary. Your shoulders, back, neck and knees are especially vulnerable to injury.

Here are some simple ways to protect yourself:

Warm up first. Take a 10-minute walk, then do some stretches. To loosen muscles, roll your shoulders back in a circular motion and move your head from side to side.

Go easy on yourself. Use a garden cart or wheelbarrow to move tools and planting materials. Avoid kneeling on both knees. Keep one foot on the ground at all times. If you must kneel, use knee pads or pillows to reduce the pressure.

Change positions frequently to avoid cramping and stiffness.

Use the right form. Bend your knees and contract your ab muscles to avoid straining your back when you pull a weed, for instance.

Listen to your body. If your back or neck feels achy, slow down and stretch or stop and do something different.

When you’re finished, cool down by taking a short walk or doing some stretching. Take a cool bath to help prevent soreness.

For more information on how to avoid injury while gardening, contact us here.

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