Gardening is a great form of exercise. Stretching, digging and planting not only gets your muscles moving, but it can also help lower blood pressure and relieve stress. On the other hand, gardening can also cause some serious injuries if proper attention isn’t paid to your spine and back muscles. Pull weeds not muscles this spring; follow these tips to avoid straining your back when planting and weeding.
It Starts with Stretching
The best way to prevent sprains and strains when gardening is to stretch. Before you pull out your pots and tools, take 5 to 10 minutes to loosen up your back, leg and arm muscles. Once you get into your gardening routine, remember to take a break every 30 minutes to reposition yourself and stretch again. This will help alleviate any stiffness and prevent muscle fatigue.
Invest in Ergonomics
There are a number of ways to increase the ergonomics of your garden. First, consider purchasing ergonomic gardening tools. These tools are designed with ergonomically angled handles in order to help protect your hand and wrist from unnecessary strain and injury. Installing a potting bench in your backyard is another way to help enhance your gardening workspace. This stylish addition to your toolshed won’t just improve the ergonomics of planting; it will also provide you with additional storage space for pots and gardening paraphernalia.
How to Weed and Plant Sitting Down
If you’re relatively flexible and have a healthy back, consider sitting on the ground (or on the edge of your decorative landscape curbing) when planting. Remember to sit with your legs bent, with one leg positioned slightly in front of the other. Anchor your sitting bones into the ground and keep your spine in an upright position. Keeping a long spine will help you avoid back strain and enable you to conserve energy. Good posture is key, so keep your pelvis in a neutral position when weeding. When your pelvis is neutral, your spine will naturally fall into a lordotic curve, which helps alleviate unnecessary strain.
Tips for Weeding When Standing
If sitting on your landscape curb is uncomfortable, consider weeding from a standing position. To make this less stressful on your back, remember to prop your elbows against your legs. This will help you better brace your body and stabilize your body posture. Keep your feet wide to maintain your balance. Again, it’s important that you keep your spine long when weeding in a standing position. This means bending from the hips rather than the spine. When you have to reach for a weed, don’t just stretch your arm – stretch your torso over your hips.
Save Your Back with Raised Beds
Don’t let back pain keep you from gardening. Instead, ask Bluewater Borders about installing raised beds in your backyard. Raised beds can be designed to include landscape curbing that’s perfect for sitting on when weeding and planting. Not only will this concrete curbing add to the look of your garden, but it will also improve your gardening comfort.
Stop straining your back this spring. Contact Bluewater Borders today to learn how decorative landscape curbing can help you avoid unnecessary back pain.