Welcome to gardening season!
Gardening is a wonderful way to get out and enjoy the outdoors, get some physical activity into your day, and grow fruits and veggies to aid in that healthy lifestyle we all strive for. Now that spring is here, it is important to practice proper techniques while gardening. Here are a few tips to avoid those springtime aches and pains that always make their way into my office!
Stretch. I know many people giggle when I suggest stretching before heading out to do yard work in the early stages of spring, but this tip is extremely important. Throughout the winter months, our bodies become deconditioned to the regular gardening movements such as bending forward for long periods. When we jump into these activities without warning the body, that is when we start to get symptoms such as an achy low back or tension into the shoulders. Simply stretching out muscle groups such as the legs and back will greatly decrease your risk of soreness or injury after a weekend of working outside.
Drink plenty of water. Living in Saskatchewan, we tend to avoid the outside world for many months of the year. When we finally crawl out of our homes come spring time, our bodies are not well adapted to the warmth of spring and summer. Staying well hydrated can not only help beat the heat, but it will also help keep your body hydrated while you are physically active.
Change up the task every 30. This tip is very similar to something I would tell a person working at a desk for hours on end. Holding the same position for longer than 30 minutes causes muscles and joints to tighten up which leads to stiffness or soreness in many areas of the body. Rather then bending forward for long periods to clear out your flower bed, switch positions regularly to give your body a break. Sit on the ground and pick weeds from either side or kneel and work in front of your body. These 30 minute switch ups also allow time for that much needed water break we just discussed.
Listen to your body. When your body is sore after doing activities such as gardening, please don’t jump back into the same task the next day. You know your body better than anyone else and therefore know when it is time to relax, or when it may be time to head to Lead for some much needed care.
With these simple tips in mind, please get out side and enjoy the spring season (be it rain, snow or sun!). As always, do not hesitate to stop by Lead Integrated Health Therapies to give your body the care it deserves.
Yours in health,
Dr. Rikki MacKenzie