(NC) Winter may take a toll on your garden, but spring definitely takes a toll on the gardener. The hours spent perfecting our lawns for summer can really put a strain on our bodies. Gardening season and back pain often go hand in hand, but positioning your body correctly reduces the strain on muscles and joints. These expert tips will help you focus on planting a beautiful garden and avoid being planted on the couch with back pain.
Alternate your tasks. Switch between heavy chores such as digging and lighter, less physically demanding tasks such as planting.
Do the “scissors” when you rake. Stand with one leg forward and one leg back when you rake. Switch legs and hands every few minutes.
Kneel to plant and weed. Constant bending can put strain on your back, neck, leg muscles and joints, so kneeling is recommended. Use kneepads or a kneeling mat with handles to minimize the amount of bending required, and to make kneeling more comfortable. Keep your back straight.
Change positions frequently. Make a point of changing positions every 10 to 15 minutes. Move from kneeling to standing, from planting to digging.
Pace Yourself. A minimum of three brief breaks each hour is recommended. Take a few moments to move around, stretch your muscles, have a drink or simply sit and relax. Spread the work over several days - you will still achieve the same great results.
A chiropractor can help guide you through more exercises and advice on how to get back to doing the things you love to do. Find out more at www.chiropractic.on.ca.
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