Gardening is at its peak in the warmer months and along with bringing beautiful flowers and healthy vegetables, gardening also brings the potential for back and muscle pain.
The American Chiropractic Association (ACA) has put together several tips to help keep you safe and healthy this gardening season:
A warm-up and cool-down period is as important in gardening as it is for any other physical activity. Performing simple stretches will help alleviate injuries, pain and stiffness. Try these:
The ACA stresses that the “no pain, no gain” rule should NOT be followed. Stretching should not be painful. While sitting, prop your heel on a stool or step, keeping the knees straight. Lean forward until you feel a stretch in the back of the thigh, or the hamstring muscle. Hold this position for 15 seconds. Do this once more and repeat with the other leg.
Stand up, balance yourself, and grab the front of your ankle from behind. Pull your heel toward your buttocks. The ACA suggests you hold the position for 15 seconds. Do this again and repeat with the other leg.
While standing, weave your fingers together above your head with the palms up. Lean to one side for 10 seconds, then to the other. Repeat this stretch three times.
Wrap your arms around yourself and rotate to one side, stretching as far as you can comfortably go. Hold for 10 seconds and reverse. Repeat two or three times.
Finally, the ACA suggests that you be aware of your body technique, body form and correct posture while gardening. Kneel, don’t bend, and alternate your stance and movements as often as possible to keep the muscles and body balanced.