Tips to Healthy Gardening to Prevent Injuries
Before you start your gardening work, especially after a long winter layoff. Here are some exercises that you should do to prevent being injured, and other things to consider.
Lift with your legs and use the correct tools that are sharp, don’t try to do everything at one time, pace yourself, especially the first few times in the yard.
The tools you use should fit you, tools are not one size fits all. It is important to either find one that fits you based on your size or choke down on long-handled tools to reduce stress on your lower back. Ergonomic fit gardening is just as important as if you were sitting at your desk working.
Stretching for Healthy Gardening to Prevent Injuries
Each time you are going to garden you should start your gardening by taking 5-10 minutes to stretch and warm up your muscles and body.
- Stand tall and reach for the moon alternating arms 5-10 times
- Stand with legs together and bend to touch towards your toes and back to your waist with chest back 5-10 times.
- Stand with your legs apart bending to touch towards your toes and back to your waist with chest back 5-10 times.
- Squats keeping your back straight 5-10 times.
- Forward trunk bend, keep legs straight 5-10 times
- Trunk side bends keeping arms sliding along your side 5-10 times for each side.
- Standing trunk turn, cross your arms on your chest, and turn your trunk in each direction slowly 5-10 times.
- Wrist stretch, hold one arm out straight with palm down use the other hand to bend the hand pushing down stretching the wrist 5-10 times.
Before stretching you should consult your doctor if you have any health issues, these are suggestions to prevent injuries.
To build muscles that you will be using to garden here are some exercises to incorporate into the exercise routines that will help you maintain good health and reduce any injuries. It is important that if you have any health issues you contact your doctor before starting any of these exercises.
1. Barbell or dumbbell deadlifts, start with lite weights and build up as your strength improves
2. Squats, start with no weight and build up to add lite weights as you gain strength.
3. Using your core muscles, use dumbbells to do curls again with lite weights.
4. Dumbell row pulls, be sure to use core muscles when doing these exercises and use lite weights.
5. Pushups using your core muscles during exercise.
6. Planks using your core muscles holding your body straight for 30-60 seconds.
7. After having an injury and cancer treatment, I have found one of the best ways to stay in shape is by doing exercises in a pool. They not only strengthen your body but add to your flexibility to prevent injuries.
**Any Yoga routines are great for strengthening, stretching, and building up core muscles.
It is a good idea to layer your clothes since you may start working in the garden in the morning when temperatures are cool and work into the late afternoon when temperatures are much warmer.
They make sunscreen shirts now that are great since they are lighter and breathe to allow you to stay comfortable without getting sunburned.
It is always a good idea to wear a hat since your head will be exposed to the sun the entire time you are working in your garden.
For those areas of your body that are exposed to the sun, you should use sunscreen and reapply as directed on the bottle of sunscreen.
Tools should fit your body, both in length for long-handled tools and size of handle to fit the size of your hand. A person 5 feet tall cannot use the same long-handled tool that a person 6′ 6″ tall uses. The weight of the tool is also important so it is a good idea to lift and hold the tool to see how it feels to you. For specific tools see the link on recommended tools for gardening.
Garden Stool & Kneeling Pad
Stools and kneeling pads are great tools to have to make it easier and more enjoyable to garden. I have included some examples and I have others that you can check out by going to my link at garden tools for seniors
It is important to drink water throughout the day when you are gardening since you will be losing water through the exercise from gardening and the exposure to the sun. Keep a bottle of cool water close by to keep your body hydrated.
Now that you have all the information on Healthy Gardening to Prevent Injuries to make your gardening experience safe and fun you need to get started gardening.