Gardening is great for your health but take care to protect your back
Gardening is a great physical activity that has many health benefits:
From the personal satisfaction of seeing something grow that you planted.
The physical activity improves endurance, strength, mobility and flexibility and is not boring or repetitive. Being outdoor adds a social element.
Helps reduce stress levels and gives you sometime away for yourself.
But gardening does have its downside. Research shows that most back injuries during the spring and summer months are from gardening and lawn care activities. Lower back pain can make gardening and everyday tasks painful or even impossible, once the injury occurs.
To avoid a back injury during gardening it is important to know how to properly perform gardening tasks like shovelling, mowing the lawn, raking and even planting. Use the suggestions below to make sure that back injury does not sideline you this summer.
1. Use light weight tools with appropriate length:
Your tools should allow for greater reach and reduce the amount of load and resistance when working.
2. Stand close to your work area:
Use your legs when lifting with knees slightly bent; do not use your back.
3. Adjust height of your tools:
Do not bend over your lawn mower or other tools, instead adjust the height so that your back is straight.
4. Take the load off:
Rotate between various tasks so that different parts of the body can have a break. Be sure to stretch your back, especially after going from a crouched down to a standing position.
5. Do not over do it:
Be sure to call it a day when your body is tired. Injuries are more likely to occur when you are fatigued because your movements are less coordinated and more sluggish.
Gardening is an exercise. Like all exercise, proper form is required to prevent injury.
It is a sound practice to consult your doctor before starting any type of new exercise.