As spring is slowly making it’s way in and the weather finally warms up, many people will spend more time outside planting bulbs, mowing the lawn and pulling weeds. Gardening is a great activity, but with all the bending, twisting, reaching and pulling, you may find that your body is not conditioned for it.
For gardening to be enjoyable, it is important to stretch your muscles before reaching for your gardening tools. Your back, upper legs, shoulders and wrists are all major muscle groups affected while using your green thumb. A warm-up and cool-down period are just as important in gardening as they are for any other physical activity, and performing simple stretches during these periods can help prevent and alleviate injuries, pain and stiffness.
Before the Digging Starts
For all types of stretching, it’s important to remember to not bounce or jerk your body, and only stretch as far as you comfortably can. Stretching should not be painful.
- While sitting, prop your heel on a stool or step, keeping the knees straight. Lean forward until you feel a stretch in the back of the thigh or the hamstring muscle. Hold this position for 15 seconds. Do this once more and repeat with the other leg.
- Stand up, hold onto something for balance, and grab the front of your ankle from behind. Pull your heel toward your buttocks and hold the position for 15 seconds. Do this again and repeat with the other leg.
- While standing, weave your fingers together and extend your arms above your head with your palms up. Lean to one side for 10 seconds, then to the other. Repeat this stretch three times.
- Wrap your arms around yourself, giving yourself a hug, and rotate to one side, stretching as far as you can comfortably go. Hold for 10 seconds and reverse. Repeat two or three times.
- Be aware of your body’s form and posture while gardening;
- Kneel rather than bend, and avoid twisting;
- Don’t stay in the same position too long, alternate your stance and movements frequently.
After the Bulbs are Planted
If you feel muscle aches and pains there are ways to alleviate the discomfort. You can apply an ice pack for 5-10 minutes at a time on the area of pain for the first 48 hours after the onset of pain. Then you can try a heat pack for shot periods after 48 hours.
Chiropractic Care Can Help!
If the pain persists, call the office to book an appointment with Dr. Ting or Dr. Mohajeri. Chiropractors use a non-drug approach to treat pain and injuries, reducing or eliminating the need for pain medications. The chiropractor can also show you additional stretches to perform in order to prevent the type of pain you’re experiencing.
Did you know…..?
Peas don’t have much of a shelf life. Once picked, peas’ high sugar content changes, causing them to lose much of their sweetness and become starchy and dull. You know peas are fresh when their pods are firm and green, so avoid any that are yellowing or wilting. Go for medium pods containing small peas, rather than large, thick-skinned ones, which are more mature and contain large, tougher peas.