Gardening is a fun pastime for some and a chore for others. Aches and pains while gardening can and do happen. Not great for anyone, especially for those that don’t love gardening! Here are seven tips to help prevent aches and pains while gardening
1. Start from a good place
As the saying goes, prevention is better than cure. Keeping fit and healthy will mean that gardening isn’t such a shock to your muscles. Incorporating exercise and stretching into your weekly or daily routine will help you stay fitter and less prone to injury.
2. Warm up your muscles before gardening
Treat gardening as you would any other type of exercise and warm up before you dive in! Remember, gardening uses a lot of different muscles, so be sure to warm up and stretch thoroughly. Common garden injuries include back pain, shoulder pain, neck pain, wrist pain, and knee pain.
3. Be mindful of how you are moving
Gardening involves a lot of different movements that your body may not be used to. From lifting heavy objects such as bags of mulch and flowerpots filled with soil, to bending over digging. If lifting, remember to lift with your knees. If something is too heavy, ask for help. Think about investing in a wagon to move heavy objects from place to place.
Be mindful of how you are leaning when digging holes or weeding. Remember to kneel rather than bending over when you spot a weed. Good posture while gardening is a must to help aches and pains later in the day.
4. Take regular breaks
Don’t be a hero! Gardening is like housework; it is never-ending! You will never be finished, so don’t rush to get your mulch done in one day or weed every flower bed. One of the keys to preventing aches and pains while gardening is knowing your limits. We get the sense of accomplishment of getting all your annuals planted, but you don’t want to end up in pain the next day.
5. Use tools and work smarter
There are so many excellent tools on the market that help to prevent aches and pains while gardening. We found this wonderful article listing nine tools that help, including long-handle weeders and garden kneelers.
6. Get creative
If you do end up with aches and pains each time you garden, then it may be time to get creative. There are many ways to garden. Think raised beds and flower walls. You may love annuals, but moving your garden to mainly shrubs and perennials can reduce how much digging you have to do. Think about planting groundcover plants to help keep weeds at bay. There is nothing wrong with enlisting help. If gardening is something you love, think about farming out some of the more laborious jobs, like mulching.
7. Stretch your muscles afterward
Just as you should warm up before gardening, be sure to cool down and stretch afterward. If you end up with aches and pains that linger on, we advise seeking out chiropractic care. There are many benefits to chiropractic care. Here at Bryn Mawr Wellness, we strive hard to help our patients keep doing the things they love, whether running marathons or tending to their yards.