As a nation, we love our gardens and spend a considerable amount of time and money on them. As we rush to get those jobs in the garden done, there is a risk that gardeners may injure themselves.
What everyone wants is to be fit and healthy enough to enjoy sitting in their garden, so here are some helpful tips to make sure you are protecting yourself this year:
- Clothing- Don’t wear clothes that are tight or could restrict your movement.
- Do a warm up- Gardening is like any other exercise; you need to warm up first. A great idea is to start off with lighter jobs first as this will lessen the chance of muscle strain, and then move on to heavier jobs later.
- Have a break- Vary your activity by spending no more than 20-30 minutes on any one thing and make sure you take regular breaks.
- Clever Pruning- Get as close as possible to the things you are pruning and avoid overstretching to reach the area you are dealing with. Invest in some long handled secateurs to reach plants and bushes that are beyond normal reach.
- Using a ladder- When using a ladder or steps, make sure you are always facing it, keeping your shoulders, hips and knees pointing in the same direction. Avoid twisting with just your upper body.
- Lifting- When lifting heavy objects e.g. compost, paving slabs, gravel; keep the object close to your body and bend your knees; it is sometimes better to bend one knee rather two, as your supporting leg gives you a position of strength. Don’t lift with your arms straight out, keep the elbows bent and to your side to minimise the stress on your back.
If you woudl like to find out more about gardening tips, stretches and posture please do not hesitate to contact us at the Health and Vitality Centre 01707 333390
Written by Ashleigh Cattle