Is Gardening A Pain?
The beautiful, unseasonably warm, Spring weather we have seen recently is no doubt bringing all the gardening enthusiasts out of their Winter hibernation. Whilst gardening may seem like a gentle, easy-going pastime, it can be hard work on your body. It involves a wide range of motions, including standing, kneeling, leaning, crouching, bending, squatting, twisting and lifting – all of which put a lot of strain on the muscles and joints.
Here are our 5 top tips for pain free gardening this Spring!
Warm Up First
Do a 5-10 minute warm-up before starting your gardening. Simple star jumps and “shaking out” your hands and arms will get the blood flowing to your muscles and help prevent injury.
Find Your Gardening Zen
Strong core muscles and flexibility are key factors in preventing injuries such as lower back pain, shoulder strains or pulled muscles. Try an activity such as Yoga or Pilates which focus on stretching to increase flexibility.
Take Care When Lifting
Using proper techniques to bend and lift will help to minimise the impact of gardening on your body. When lifting keep objects close to your body. Bend your knees and squat or kneel to get down to ground level rather than bending over. When kneeling try having just one knee on the ground and the other one up, then swap knees regularly to alleviate pressure on the knee joints. Try to avoid sudden twisting or reaching motions and remember to adjust your posture regularly to reduce the risk of repetitive motion injuries.
Use Apprpropriate Tools
Lighten your load by using a wheelbarrow rather than carrying heavy objects. When weeding or planting use a garden stool or cushioned kneeler. Investing in some ergonomically designed tools such as spades and hoes can save a lot of shoulder strain.
Don’t Overdo It!
Listen to your body – it will tell you when you have done enough. Take regular breaks and remember to stay hydrated. Stretch after you finish gardening to help reduce swelling and stiffness.
Reward Yourself For Your Hard Work
Don’t forget to reward yourself for all your hard work with a sports or deep tissue massage. This will really ease those aching muscles and loosen any build-up of tension around the shoulders; keeping you in tip top condition for the next round of weeding, planting and mowing!