The change in season brings a change of activities. Gardening and yard work are a great way to be physically active and enjoy the Spring weather. I do not have a green thumb and the deer are a major issue but the change in weather really helps get me motivated to attempt to make my yard look nice and it is a great reason to get outside!
Here are some helpful tips to make sure you are staying safe, pain free and enjoying gardening and working in your yard this Spring:
- Before starting out, make sure to check your yard for uneven ground, roots sticking out, loose rocks, branches/sticks that may be in your way, to avoid tripping or falling.
- Gardening can be a strenuous activity, so it is a good idea to take a few minutes to stretch/warm up before starting.
- Take frequent breaks and remember to hydrate.
- If you can, I would recommend raised plant beds and potted plants so that you do not have to be on the ground or bending over as much.
- If you are working from the ground, I recommend using a pad to kneel on and using a half kneel position to keep your back in a more upright position and changing legs frequently.
- Work in small areas so that you are not over reaching which could cause discomfort in your back, neck or shoulders or cause you to lose your balance.
- While you are gardening or doing yard work try to engage your core to help support your low back. Engage your core by pulling your belly button in towards your spine and tightening.
- If you are raking be sure to switch arms to avoid overworking one side of your body. Rake when it is dry, wet leaves are heavier and also more slippery. Your body will thank you 🙂
- Remember to bend at your knees and hips, and lift with your legs, not your back. Lifting lighter loads, more frequently is better than trying to fill up or lift as much as you can at one time. When lifting and carrying hold objects as close to your body and centered if possible.
- If you need to use a ladder, make sure someone is near by and aware.
Contact A to Z Personal Wellness if you are feeling unsteady or want to improve your strength to make your yard work easier and more enjoyable!