Spring is here and for many people that means it’s time to get back out in the garden. Whether you’re an experienced gardener or just starting out, it’s important to take steps to avoid injury while working in your yard. Here are some tips to help keep you safe and healthy while gardening this spring.
- Warm up before you start: Gardening can be a physically demanding activity, so it’s important to warm up your muscles before you start. Take a few minutes to get your arms, back, and legs ready for work and the blood flowing.
- Use the right tools: Using the right tools can help reduce the strain on your body. Choose tools that are comfortable to hold, have ergonomic handles, and are the right size for your height and strength.
- Practice proper lifting techniques: When lifting heavy objects, it’s important to use proper technique to avoid injury. Bend your knees, keep your back straight, and lift with your legs, not your back. If an object is too heavy, ask for help.
- Take breaks: Gardening can be tiring, so it’s important to take breaks to rest and rehydrate. Make sure to drink plenty of water and take breaks every 30 minutes to an hour.
- Wear protective gear: Wearing gloves, sturdy shoes, and protective eyewear can help prevent cuts, scrapes, and other injuries while gardening.
Now that you know how to avoid injury while gardening, let’s talk about how you can prepare your body for the physical demands of gardening. Exercises like the suitcase carry, deadlift, and half kneeling press can help mimic the real-life movements you’ll use while gardening and help prevent injury.
The suitcase carry involves holding a weight in one hand and walking while keeping your core tight and your shoulders level. This exercise helps strengthen your core and upper body, which can be helpful when lifting heavy objects in the garden.
The deadlift involves lifting a weight from the ground using proper lifting technique and proper core activation. This exercise helps strengthen your legs, glutes, and back, which are all used when bending over to plant or weed.
The half kneeling press involves kneeling on one knee while holding a weight in the opposite hand and pressing it overhead. This exercise helps improve your balance and stability, which can be helpful when reaching for objects while gardening.
Incorporating these exercises into your workout routine can help prepare your body for the physical demands of gardening and help prevent injury. All these exercises can be performed in our gym at Body Smart Health and Fitness or on your own at home depending on the equipment available to you. So, get out there and enjoy the spring weather and your garden, but remember to take care of your body along the way. From the Body Smart family, happy gardening! And remember… The best is yet to come!