By Jeff Sheppard 26 Apr 2018 no comment 1200 Views

Most people don’t think of gardeners as athletes.  Gardening might not be a “sport,” but when you consider what’s involved—all the lifting, hoeing, digging, kneeling and raking—gardening is definitely a physical activity.  Like all physical activity, there are great health rewards, but also a risk of injury if proper precautions aren’t taken.

Follow these seven tips to reap the benefits of getting active without aches and pains.

Kneel to weed and plant.  Bending and squatting can strain your back, neck and leg muscles.  A mat or kneepads can make kneeling more comfortable.

Use long-handled tools.  Long-handled tools help you to avoid the need to bend forwards or sideways as you work, minimizing the risk of strain to your lower back and neck.

Change hands frequently.  Changing hands prevents muscle strain on one side of the body.

Posture matters.  When you’re raking and hoeing, stand as straight as possible, with your head upright.  Pause every few minutes to stretch.

Do the scissors pose.  When you rake, stand with your left leg forward and your right leg back.  Switch every few minutes.  This pose makes it harder to bend and twist—the easiest way to give yourself a sore back.

Take breaks.  Like any physical activity, when you are tired, it is time to rest.  Stay hydrated.  Don’t “race.”  Take the time you need to be comfortable and safe.

Stretch before you start gardening, and take some time to cool down when you finish.  Repeat the stretches or take a walk around the block.

If you feel pain in your neck, back, or anywhere else that is painful enough to interfere with your everyday activities or persists longer than a few days, call Sheppard Chiropractic and Laser Healing at (506) 635-8182 or (506) 847-7172.

Finally, if you receive regular chiropractic maintenance care, your body will be functioning at its best when you go to do your gardening.  Also, you will be more flexible, which will help minimize your risk of injury.

Happy Gardening!

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