Ready, Set, Garden!
By Sara Butler
Gardening is a great hobby. It helps to relieve stress and is a great form of exercise for a lot of people. The problem lies in the fact that many people enjoy gardening so much that they don’t view it as exercise, so they neglect to take the proper precautions to stay healthy. Just as with any physical activity, chiropractors understand there is a right way and a wrong way to do many of the things in your garden. Here’s how to keep your spine and the rest of you safe as you make your corner of a world a little more beautiful -- and keep your chiropractor happy.
All the Right Moves
You need to know the right moves in order to protect your back in the garden. You can lighten the load on your back by:
- Kneeling instead of bending at the waist
- Change positions often
- Take small, frequent breaks
- Alternate heavy and light garden chores
- Drink plenty of water
- Stretch before you start
Getting Your Body Ready
You wouldn’t go out and play a game a basketball without a few stretches, and you shouldn’t go out and garden without doing it, too! Get your body ready for physical activity in order to prevent injury by taking a short walk. Gently lift your knees and swing your arms as you go. If you can invest 10 to 15 minutes getting your body ready for the task ahead, it’ll make a big difference.
You can also stretch by:
- Working your upper body – Stand up straight and reach one arm over your head, then bend at the waist in the opposite direction of the arm you have up and hold for 15 seconds. Repeat on the other side.
- Working your hamstrings – Stand up straight and reach both arms overhead. Bend at the waist, reaching for your toes and hold for 15 seconds.
Remember, no stretch should hurt. Just stretch far enough to feel a good stretch in the body part you’re aiming for.
A Word on Tools
There are some really great ergonomic gardening tools on the market. Look into those for the big jobs, but also remember tools should be easy to grip and lightweight in order for you to wield them without hurting yourself. Never be afraid to ask for help when you’re working on big jobs, either – especially if lifting heavy objects is involved. And never be afraid to consult your chiropractor, or head to The Joint Chiropractic, to keep your back in shape while you keep your thumb green.
To learn more about your health and wellness, see your local chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractic.