The weather is warming up and many of our clients have started spring clean-up in their yards and gardens. They have been cleaning out last falls leaves, digging, lifting, raking, bending and pulling. Unfortunately we are seeing many of these people in the clinic because of aches and pains from overdoing it. Working in your gardens can be enjoyable and you don’t need to end up feeling the effects physically in your body for the hard work you have accomplished.

We wanted to share some great tips to keep you safe this gardening season.

1. Warm-up – take a few minutes to stretch and get your body loose before gardening activities.

2. Change position – change tasks frequently so you modify positions. Avoid excessive bending forward at the trunk with your knees extended. Try kneeling either on one knee or both or sitting on a step stool.

3. Long-handled tools – Invest in long handled tools to eliminate bending and kneeling, especially as you age.

4. Invest in a wagon – Use a wagon with larger, sturdier wheels instead of a wheelbarrow. This eliminates lifting and pushing.

5. Listen to your body – Take frequent breaks and tune into your body for any signs of fatigue, aches, and pains. If you are noticing any of these then rest, change tasks or call it quits for the day.

6. Self-treatment – After a day in the garden take 10-15 minutes for self-care. Get some great ideas on our website. Click here for self-care ideas. Some of our favorites after working in the garden are: anterior chest stretch over pillow or on foam roller; piriformis release, sacral, and psoas releases on 4″ ball; and sidelying stretch. Choose two or three areas to treat for a break or after your day in the garden.

Work smarter, not harder this gardening season!