Gardening top tips from the Chiropractor
It seems like it was only yesterday when I was still planning Christmas, and now, somehow, it’s already March! This year has really had a flying start and the time seems to have passed by in the blink of an eye. Now might be a suitable time to do some planning for the next couple of months, especially those lucky enough to have a garden or allotment. Here, from the Guildford Chiropractors’ mouth are my main do’s and don’ts I recommend my patients during this gardening season:
Do plan ahead and, stick to the plan! It’s far too easy to overdo it when getting into the swing of things whilst out in the garden. Decide beforehand what you want to do and how long for. Do keep in mind that doing a little bit at a time, perhaps often, is much kinder to your back. This may well mean you can get out there for more plant care tomorrow or even later the same day. So, do enjoy a guilt-free cup of tea when it’s time.
Do get your kit in order and use it. Make sure you have the correct equipment to act on the plan you’ve just created. By using shovels and other tools with longer levers, rather than smaller more intricate equipment, you can get your bodyweight behind it without compromising your posture. And use the wheelbarrow to carrying heavy items - keep the load light and make several trips. Using correct equipment makes lighter work of gardening and you will feel better afterwards.
If you need to use smaller tools, get close by to whatever you are working on. Instead of standing up, get out a mat or knee pads and get down on the ground.
Use your whole body and keep changing posture. It may feel more natural to rake leaves in a certain direction, or always using your dominant hand to pull weeds, but do try to mix it up and use your other hand as well to even out the strain on your muscles and joints.
If possible, adding raised beds will make child’s play of tending to the plants, sparing much bending. Let the plants come to you instead!
Don’t do everything in one sitting. You have plenty of time to get the garden summer ready so don’t rush it, and yes you can do two trips instead of one.
Don’t dress for the weather you want. Spring is an unpredictable time weatherwise in the UK. If it’s one of those colder days, add a light layer, but be careful not to overheat either. Wear different layers, so you can add or remove them as needed.
Don’t do too many repetitive motions. Alternate sides and/or tasks, to not strain your body.
Don’t be afraid to ask for help. Sometimes lifting or moving things around in the garden is a two-person job and that’s okay.
Don’t forget to have fun! Gardening is great to keep active and it can do wonders to your mental health. It should be enjoyable, so, have fun, soak up the sun and breathe in the fresh air.
If you do get back or joint pain during or after your gardening sessions, do contact Guildford Chiropractic Centre. Our chiropractors or massage therapists will be delighted to help, so you can return to your gardening or other leisure activities.