Now that the sunny days have finally arrived, this might entice you to do a bit of gardening! Gardening can be an extremely rewarding pastime, but it can also come with an increased risk of aches and pains if you're not careful. Here are some helpful tips to help you maximize your joy of gardening while minimizing the risk of pain.
1. Warm up
Like any other physical activity, gardening requires preparing your body for the new movements. Do yourself a favour and pause to warm up muscles before you start the work. It only takes a few minutes to improve your posture and keeps you moving.
2. Take breaks
When you're in the zone, one can lose track of time. Set a timer and take break every 15-20 minutes to stand up, stretch and walk around a bit rather than staying in the same position for extended periods of time.
3. Drink water
Hydration is always important, but especially when your physically active in the sun. Carry a bottle of water along with your garden tools. When you take your break every 15-20 minutes, have a drink of water too.
While you're stretching and hydrating, take in some deep, oxygenating breaths to nourish your muscles and help improve circulation. Keep your shoulders and chest relaxed. When breathing deeply, you should see your abdomen extend out and then in calmly.
5. Listen to your body
Pay attention to the message your body is sending you. If you feel a twinge, take a break or change positions. Be careful not to get so lost in the task that you ignore those niggling aches and pains until it's too late.
6. Be mindful of large loads
Bags of soil or heavy potted plants come with the territory. Consider a wheeled cart, instead of lugging a whole bag of soil. Divide large loads into smaller batches that are easier to handle.
7. Vary your tasks
Instead of concentrating on one area or job at a time, vary your tasks to ensure that you aren't holding the same position for extended periods.
Gardening is hard work, but can also be a great source of enjoyment - have fun with it!