Pull weeds, not muscles

Pull weeds, not muscles

With the warm weather approaching, many are beginning to remember the gardens that have been hidden under the snow for the past months. Gardening is the perfect way to contribute to the environment and get moving with the benefit of loads of vitamin D. However, bending, shoveling, and pulling weeds can also pull muscles, induce injury, and cause aches and pains.

Before you begin, it is important to set yourself up for a successful gardening day by stretching and hydrating. Take frequent breaks between heavy chores or switch to a lighter chore to avoid overuse injuries and give muscles a chance to recover. Make sure that you are changing your body position and always kneeling rather than bending to avoid the post-gardening back ache.

Warming up before gardening or any physical activity is crucial for preventing injury and avoiding aches. The warm up should consist of light to moderate activity such as taking a short walk, jog, or bicycle ride. Loosen up by gently swinging your arms, lifting your knees, and other dynamic stretches.

The following stretches will help prevent the gardening-inducing aches and pains. These static stretches should each be performed five times very gently, without excess amounts of force. You should feel the muscle stretch, but should not feel uncomfortable.

Body Part Stretching Instructions
Upper Body Sides
  1. Extend right arm over your head.
  2. Bend to the left from waist.
  3. Hold for 15 seconds and repeat on the other side.
Arms and Shoulders
  1.  Hug yourself snugly.
  2. Slowly rotate at the waist as far as is comfortable to the left, then to the right.
  1. In a seated position, bend forward from the hips, keeping your head down.
  2. Reach for the ground.
Lower Body Thighs
  1. Face a wall or tree and support yourself against it with one arm.
  2. Bend your right knee and grasp your ankle or pant leg with your left hand.
  3. Hold for 15 seconds and repeat on the other side
  1. Stand.
  2. Reach your hands to the sky.
  3. Bend at the waist and reach toward your toes.
  4. Hold for 15 seconds.

For more information regarding injury and sore muscle prevention book a chiropractic appointment with Dr. Carole Smith today.