springtime here, gardening is one of the most common outdoor activities that
many take part in. It is a great way to get outdoors to enjoy the fresh air, the
hot beating sun all while getting a great workout. However, gardening and yard
work can be very demanding on the body. All that digging, raking, pruning,
weeding, lifting, planting and watering can cause significant strain to the
muscles and back. The good news is that injuries can be prevented.
in your yard or garden can be very enjoyable and not only will it produce a
beautiful garden but it will also strengthen muscles and burn calories. While
you are weeding and raking, mowing and
planting it effectively works every major muscle group, low back, upper back,
shoulders, legs etc. Typically, 30 minutes of raking leaves burns 162 calories,
weeding or mowing can burn up to 182 calories and digging garden soil will burn
344 calories. In addition to burning calories, gardening can offer other health
benefits such as stress reduction and increased flexibility.
form of exercise, such as gardening can pose some risks. You can easily develop
muscle strain and soreness if you go at it too hard, too soon. Pulling
weeds, raking a lawn or just digging a hole can strain the back in painful ways,
and frequent squatting and kneeling isnít always the best for your back
either. Any movement that requires lifting,
twisting or turning, for example, carrying bags of mulch, soil or fertilizer can
injure back muscles. In fact, gardening and yard work are the number one causes
of back and/or neck pain in the spring and summer months.
Gardening can be a serious workout and that is why it is important to encourage
people to treat it like any other kind of exercise. Warming up before digging
in, and using the proper techniques and tools can go a long way to letting
people enjoy the final results of their garden without the aches and pains.
If you are like many Canadians, your
eagerness to get the job done may outweigh your attention to how your body will
feel when youíre finished. The
British Columbia Chiropractic Association ( http://www.bcchiro.com
) has developed tips to prevent back and muscle pain that often accompany
a strenuous work-out in the yard.
and Preventative Techniques for Getting Back to Gardening
medium-to-small sized loads of debris close to your body, or use a
wheelbarrow to avoid strain on your back.
Kneel with pads to perform
tasks, rather than bend.
overhead work to five-minute episodes.
if a task seems like too much work, it probably is. Hire a professional for
tasks like landscaping, tree-topping or trimming large hedges.
before you start!
the right tools, and the right moves!
your knees to lift with ease!
a break before it aches!
If you do experience
stiffness or soreness after gardening, apply ice to help reduce the swelling and
stay as mobile as you can. Do not use heat immediately as it will only aggravate
muscle and joint inflammation. The first 48 hours apply ice, after that you can
use heat. If your pain persists more than a couple of days, consider consulting
a Chiropractor to help you feel more like yourself.