So, we’re into the Summer months – BBQs, Wimbledon and being a bit more outdoorsy. Now there is something we’re able to do in the good weather that most of us wouldn’t contemplate in the winter months – gardening. While considered a relaxing pastime a surprising high number of people suffer gardening injuries.
Whether you’re sowing some seeds for that garden veg, pruning the bushes or planting some flowers, it can be a difficult time for your body. A body that’s not used to the movements, lifts, twists & turns that are associated with a good spell in the garden. A body that’s done those specific movements a year ago?
Plan your gardening activities
The last thing we need is to injure something whilst out in the garden
To avoid those annoying niggles, start by planning your garden tasks. If you dive straight in and crack on, you could be putting your body under stress by doing too much to quickly. Ensure you have lots of breaks to move out of the positions you’re putting yourself into Backs – digging, lifting plant pots, bending forward.
Use the right techniques to avoid gardening injuries
If you’re digging, mix up which side you lift and use your foot with. Lifting and moving those plant pots. Although actually lifting with a slightly rounded back isn’t inherently bad. However, if you’re an inexperienced lifter or the load is more than you’re used to, bend with your knees and keep a straight back. Instead of leaning forward so much to plant and cut, try wearing a set of knee pads and try kneeling or sitting down.
Upper Limb – so the shoulders and elbows can take a bit of a pounding when you’re working overhead or using secateurs (other cutting implements are available). The easiest way to reduce the impact on shoulders and elbows and prevent upper body gardening injuries is to break the spells of cutting/trimming into smaller time blocks and switch into another task. That will give you a bit of a rest and allow you to continue later one. Instead of reaching overhead – bring the task closer to you by either using a ladder or just getting closer to the target.
Most of all, get out and enjoy the vitamin D hit! Enjoy feeding on the bumper crop of fruit and veg you’ll be able to produce in the good weather!