Gardening tips to save your back

Warmer temperatures and sunny days have finally arrived and so have the first flowers of spring! This might entice you to do a bit of gardening. It 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 a few tips to help you maximize your joy of gardening while minimizing the risk of pain.

Warm up: Warm up your muscles before you start the work. Like any other physical activity, gardening requires preparing your body for the new movements. In fact, over the winter months, you may have become deconditioned and will require some time before you can invest yourself into a regular gardening routine.

Take breaks: It’s wise to pace yourself instead of powering through to get the job done. Set a timer and take a break every 15 to 20 minutes to stand up, stretch and walk around a bit rather than staying in the same position for extended periods of time.

Drink water: Hydration is always important, but especially when you are physically active under 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.

Listen to your body: It’s easy to get caught up in the sheer joy of gardening; in fact, it can be very meditative. However, be careful not to get so lost in the task that you ignore those niggling aches and pains until it’s too late. Pay attention to the messages your body is sending you. If you feel a twinge, take a break or change positions.

Be mindful of large loads: Bags of mulch and soil or heavy potted plants come with the territory. Instead of lugging a whole bag of soil from one end of the garden to the other, consider using a wheeled cart. Divide large loads into smaller batches that are easier to handle.

Gardening can be a lot of work, but it’s also a great source of pleasure and beauty, all the more so when you feel in top physical condition.

For more information on health and safety please visit the Ontario Chiropractic Association website at www.chiropractic.on.ca or call 1-877-327-2273.

Dr. George I. Traitses of Infinite Health practices traditional chiropractic, advanced nutrition and ant aging therapy and has been serving the Toronto
and Markham communities since 1981. Call 416-499-5656 or visit www.infinite-health.com.

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