During lockdown and upcoming summer months, many of us have considered, or started, gardening. The lovely sunny weather mixed with rain means that gardening season has begun.
This makes some of us happy and some of us slightly worried when we think of all those back breaking tasks that we need to face over the next few months. However, it’s possible to do lots of gardening jobs without causing pain.
Our bodies are well adapted to a variety of tasks, but we need to pace ourselves and not just keep going until we can’t do anymore.
Gardening is like any exercise – we must warm up first and follow basic rules:
Don’t go straight into heavy garden work. Start with lighter jobs, stretch and then continue.
If you use a ladder for any gardening tasks, make sure you are always straight. Don’t lean or reach and take time to move the position of the ladder regularly. Keep shoulders, hips and knees pointing in the same direction and get as close as possible to anything you are pruning to avoid over stretching.
Vary activity as much as possible. Spend no more than 30 minutes on one thing at a time and take regular breaks. It’s repetitive tasks that cause problems.
Be careful lifting
If lifting or laying slabs, bricks or rocks, keep the load close to your body, face the direction in which you want to carry the weight and always lift using a relaxed, straight back with legs hip width apart and knees bent. Avoid bending from the waist to avoid stress on the lower back.
Remember, pain is a warning sign – don’t ignore it
Enjoy your garden
Take a moment to rest, relax and appreciate your surroundings.