As we move into Spring, many of us will be looking to return to gardening. The temptation to dive back into the many tasks all lined up and prepared can sometimes mean that we put ourselves at risk of doing too much too soon. This places unnecessary strain and demand on the body if not prepared and can sometimes result in pain and injury. Read more below on 7 key tips to help return to gardening safely and swiftly!
- Perform a simple warm-up routine prior to commencing gardening to ensure that you are prepared for the tasks ahead. This should take no longer than 5-10 minutes and include movements that you are likely to encounter during the gardening such as bending, squatting, kneeling, twisting and lifting. An example workout can be found here.
- Factor in plenty of rest periods initially to reduce the time spent in one position (this can be reduced as your tolerance increases)
- Plan ahead so you can alternate between simple and more rigorous tasks to allow for reduced intensity whilst still completing meaningful work.
- Keep hydrated with plenty of water and wear sunscreen at all times – you might also want to avoid gardening tasks during the hottest times of the day.
- Use a stool when completing ground-level work to reduce the need to kneel or crouch down – if kneeling, make sure there is enough padding around knees.
- Consider using a vertical garden or trellis to reduce the need to crouch or bend down – having tools with longer handles can also help with this whilst providing additional increases in leverage. Building tall raised beds which mean you might be able to sit on the side whilst gardening.
- You can increase your capacity to garden safely and effectively by engaging in some light resistance-based exercises using items found around the house or in the garden. An example workout can be found in our latest blog here
Aim to complete each movement 5-10 times (unless otherwise stated) for a total of 3 rounds. You can complete this up to three times a week but start with just once per week to get used to the additional exercise.
To make it harder you can:
- Slowly increase the amount of repetitions you perform in each round
- Increase the rounds of the exercises you perform
- Slowly increase any weights lifted during these exercises
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