Once the snow melts spring follows, and with that is the urge to get into the garden and get planting & raking! This is one of the best times of the year to get active, but like any area, the garden is a place where injury can occur. Here is how to have fun in the sun and be still stay injury free:
- Warm up before you start
Take a small walk before you start to rake the leaves. Let your body warm up and be prepared to bend and stretch. This will allow the muscles to warm up and prevent any injury that a cold muscle would experience.
- Stretch, stretch, stretch!
After a short walk, move your body from side to side and stretch your back. Bend forward and try to touch the ground. Stay in that position for 10 seconds before you slowly lift up. Do this five times and then take a water break. Don’t overdo it- remember the best thing is to listen to your body.
Rotate your wrists as if you’re twisting a door knob. Do this clockwise and counter clockwise, 5x each. This will help loosen up the hands and prepare you for the digging!
- Bend your knees
While picking up the gathered leaves bend your knees and your hips so that you are close to the ground. Using a knee pad it also a great way of softening the pressure to the area. This can be a great way to work that core as well!
- Keep things close to your body
When you gather leaves, weeds, and plants from the ground, hold it up close to your body. That way the weight gets balanced and there is no extra load on your muscles and joints.
- Work at the correct height
Instead of bending for a long time, keep your back straight and face down from the neck while you’re raking. While tending to plants sit in a chair at the equal height of the plant and work at it. Don’t bend for more than 20 minutes at a time, remember, you need that water break.
- Take frequent breaks
In case you feel tired, take a break. Don’t clean up in one go. There is a lot to work to be done after the lengthy winter season, so be kind to yourself and take it easy.
Gardening and planting are extremely therapeutic as well as a good form exercise for mind and body. If you do experience an injury, your chiropractor is here to help! We want you to get back to doing what you love.
Dr. A @ Kawartha Care