Nature has sprung to life now that Spring is in full swing, which means it's time for many to get out into the garden to plant and prepare for the warmer months. If you are a keen gardener or have helped a friend or family member in the past, you will know it can be quite a workout! Gardening can undoubtedly create strain on the body, particularly the spine. The stiff lower back and aching joints can all come on from a day out in the garden, but don’t worry, we’ve got you covered with some tips this week to help you take care of your spine while gardening! Here are 5 tips to keep in mind when you are next outside: 1. Warm-up Gardening should be considered like any other form of exercise, so we recommend warming up before getting stuck in. A short stroll outside, some gentle stretching, and movement will help prime your body for the work ahead and help prevent injury. 2. Have the correct tools to hand Using tools that are going to support your body is a worthwhile investment. For example, long-handled tools can help you to avoid bending or crouching. If you are spending time on the ground planting for instance, wearing knee pads or investing in a kneeling stool will reduce the pressure on those joints. 3. Be mindful of your posture Gardening usually involves repetitive lifting, twisting, and bending, so it’s important to be mindful of your posture. For example, gently bracing your core muscles and glutes when moving in those directions will help to stabilise and support your spine. When lifting, take your time to ensure you have a stable base of support. Being conscious of your movements will minimise the risk of falls or injuries. 4. Allow yourself regular breaks It's tempting to get the job done in one go, but this is where aches and pains can creep in because we have pushed our bodies too much too soon. So instead, consider regular breaks throughout the day to rest, drink water, and fuel yourself. You could even split the job over a couple of days if time allows. 5. Ask for help If your gardening involves heavy lifting, or you feel the task is too big to take on alone, how about asking for help? Whether it’s asking a friend or family member to assist, or hiring a gardener, there is no shame in getting another pair of hands to support you. It will certainly support your body! Gardening really can bring such joy; there is nothing better than looking out at the end of the day to see the results of your hard work. Being outside gardening is also a fantastic opportunity to connect with nature and help your body move, so we hope these tips help you garden confidently this year. And if you don’t have a garden but know someone who does, feel free to share the information with them! As poet Saadi once said, “a garden is a delight to the eye and a solace for the soul”. Let’s make sure it’s a delight for your spine too! We look forward to supporting your gardening adventures and keeping your body working at its best at your next chiropractic visit. The content of this blog is for educational purposes and is not intended to offer personal medical advice. You should seek the advice of a qualified healthcare provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read in this blog.
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