We’ve all been there before; the morning after your weeding session, your back is killing you. When you stand up you feel dizzy and when you sit down, you just can’t get comfortable. There are a few simple steps you can take to make your favorite hobby a little easier on your back and body.
Before the Chore
Stretching and Warmup- It sounds too simple, but it really does help. If you take the time to do some dynamic stretching before you tackle those weeds your back will thank you. It only takes about 5 to 10 minutes to get your body ready for all your gardening duties. A few dynamic stretches you should try are Arm Circles, Arm Swings, Frankenstein March, and Over the Fence.
Here is a great instructional video; it’s a Dynamic Stretching routine for gardeners.
During the Duties
Stay Hydrated- One of the best things you can do for your back and body is stay hydrated. Having enough water in your system insures your muscles have what they need to do their job. Always remember, if you’re, sweating your loosing water and much needed nutrients which can lead to muscle aches, spasms, and serious next day pains. Do yourself a favor and be sure to drink lots of water on days you’re spending time in the garden.
Space Out Your Work- Believe it or not, it is okay to take a break. In fact, breaks are very good for re-energizing. You don’t have to power though all the weeding before you stand up and do something else. Mix up what you are doing to give your knees and back a break. A good rule of thumb is to never spend more than ten minutes in the same position or doing a repetitive motion.
Use Your Tools- The true purpose of tools are to make our tasks easier. If your tools are not helping to make your work load a little less work, it might be time to invest in some new equipment. A few options we suggest are, long handle tools that prevent you from having to bend, a good set of arch supports for your boots, and a Plant Dolly to assist with moving large plants or heavy objects.
After the Task
Cool Down, Don’t Lay Down- It is important to remember your time in the garden is a workout. With any workout the cool down period is just as important as the warmup. Take 5 to 10 minutes to stretch while your muscles are still warm to reduce the likelihood of next day aches and pains. Many gardeners find stretching, relaxing.
Here is a cool down routine you can add to your gardening playbook.
Ice Pack, Heating Pad or Hot Bath- If you feel your muscles starting to tense, there is no shame in reaching for a little relief. Grab a bag of frozen veggies out of the fridge or soak in a relaxing bath. Always remember a little discomfort is to be expected, but if you find yourself still seeking relief after a few days it might be time to see a doctor.
Change Your Method
Sometimes the best way is to avoid the problem all together. Try changing the way you garden or adding an extra layer of protection.
·Try Container Gardening
·Elevate Your Beds
·Go Crazy With the Mulch
·Consider paying someone to maintain it for you
Ask your grandchildren or the neighbor’s teenage son if they would be interested in earning a little extra spending money by helping you with the garden.
Disclaimer: Here at Best Gardening Supplies we are not doctors, health care professionals or personal trainers.Always consult your physician before beginning any exercise program. This is general information not intended to diagnose any medical condition or to replace your healthcare professional. Remember to be safe, be healthy and never try anything you feel may be dangerous or put you in harm’s way.