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How to Cultivate Good Health in a Garden State

By Sara Butler

Growing Your Garden

April is National Lawn and Garden Month, which makes a lot of sense. In most places around the country, this is the month to start getting back into the swing of things when it comes to caring for your lawn and garden.

After being cooped up inside for most of the winter, it’s important to remember a few things about caring for your spinal health as you get your hands back into the dirt of your garden. Here are a few things the chiropractors at The Joint Chiropractic want you to remember to help you avoid back pain while keeping your thumb green.

Gardening Starts With Prevention!

Working in your lawn and garden may not feel like a lot of exercise as you’re doing it, but it puts your muscles and joints through their paces. Think about how many times you squat, stand, kneel, twist, lift, and bend while you’re pruning your favorite rose bush. It’s quite the workout! One of the keys to avoiding back pain and injury while working in your lawn and garden is flexibility and having powerful muscles in your core. If you haven’t been very active over the last several months, then chances are your body isn’t primed to jump right into gardening where you left off in the fall.

Make sure you ease back into working in your garden and condition your body for all that physical activity. Yoga is a great way to work on flexibility and strength, and walking can help get that heart pumping and build stamina.

It’s All About Technique

Believe it or not, there’s a technique to gardening that will help to protect your body from injury. You should warm up before you start digging in the dirt and then use proper techniques to lift and bend so that you minimize the stress and strain placed on your body.

It’s a good idea to keep items close to your body when lifting; bend at your knees to get down to the ground instead of bending over, and switch the activities you’re doing frequently to avoid injuries related to repetitive motion.

Buy the Right Tools

If you get the right gardening tools, then they’ll do most of the work for you! Garden carts, wheelbarrows, using raised beds, investing in garden stools or benches, and using cushions when on the ground to help reduce pressure on your joints are all important to have. You can also find ergonomic tools (rather easily) that will keep your body in the proper position as you use them.

Break Up Your Work

You may feel all gung-ho as you break out the garden shears this year, but you should make sure to ease into the work. If you do too much at once, then you risk injury. Instead, make sure to pace yourself. Take breaks often, ask for help when you need it, and make sure to drink plenty of water.

Working in your lawn and in your garden helps to connect you with nature. It’s good for you, both mentally and physically, but be sure to listen to your body while you do it. Make sure to take the appropriate steps to avoid injury and care for yourself as you work so you don’t sideline yourself before everything starts to bloom.

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