It’s spring time! That means it’s time to get to work outside in the yard and garden. Are you ready? Do you worry about the aches and pain you will feel “the day after”? The following tips will help you prevent injury and hopefully make your gardening and lawn care experience much more enjoyable. Also, check out our gardening video on YouTube!
- Make sure you are physically capable of doing what you plan to do. BE REALISTIC!
- Plan ahead. Gather all needed supplies before you start. Set out plants in flower beds or the garden where you want them planted.
- Set small goals for each gardening session. Don’t try to “do it all” in one day.
LISTEN TO YOUR BODY. Be prepared to stop any activity if you feel pain or something doesn’t feel “right” while you are working.
- Change positions frequently while working, at least every 10-15 minutes.
- Take frequent rest breaks.
- Plan to work outside during early mornings or later in the day to avoid excessive heat.
- Drink lots of fluids.
- Make sure you have the correct tools for the type of gardening that you are doing, and that they are stored properly.
- Think about getting a shed to stop you from having to move too much heavy equipment outside from other areas.
- Start with lighter activities to warm up. Then progress to heavier activities before fatigue sets in.
- Use good body mechanics. Avoid bending over from your waist and back. Keep your back straight and bend from your hips and knees. Keep your abdominal muscles tight when lifting. Avoid twisting motions.
- When shoveling, don’t try to lift too heavy a load of dirt. Be sure to pivot your feet and turn your body when dumping the load from the shovel.
- Don’t twist your upper body.
- When raking or hoeing, work in small areas. Keep the rake/hoe close to your body. Don’t reach too far out. Remember to keep your back straight and abdominals tight.
- Any bending should be from the hips and knees.