Gardening can be a fun and rewarding activity, but it can also lead to injuries if proper precautions are not taken. From pulling weeds to lifting heavy bags of soil, gardening requires physical effort and can strain your body. In this blog, we will discuss some tips on how to prevent injury while gardening.
Warm-up before starting: Gardening can be physically demanding, so it's essential to warm up before you start. Take a few minutes to stretch your muscles and get your blood flowing. Some simple stretches you can do include shoulder rolls, neck stretches, and lunges. A warm-up helps to increase your flexibility, reduce muscle tension, and prevent strains and sprains.
Wear the right clothing and shoes: When gardening, it's important to wear clothing that is comfortable and allows for easy movement. Loose-fitting clothing can get caught in tools, which can be dangerous. Opt for comfortable, breathable clothes that are also durable. Additionally, wear sturdy, closed-toe shoes with good traction to prevent slipping and tripping.
Use the right tools and techniques: Using the right tools and techniques can prevent injuries while gardening. Choose tools that are comfortable to use and the right size for your height and strength. Maintain a straight back and use your legs to lift heavy objects, rather than your back. When using a shovel or other digging tool, keep your back straight and use your legs to generate power. If you're kneeling or crouching, use a cushion or kneepads to protect your knees.
Take breaks: Gardening can be tiring, and it's important to take breaks to rest and recharge. Don't push yourself too hard and take regular breaks to stretch, hydrate, and relax your muscles. If you feel tired or start to experience pain, take a break and listen to your body.
Stay hydrated: Staying hydrated is essential while gardening. Drink plenty of water before, during, and after gardening to prevent dehydration. Dehydration can cause fatigue, dizziness, and other health problems, so make sure to stay hydrated while working in the garden.
Use sun protection: Spending time in the garden can expose you to the sun's harmful rays. Protect your skin by wearing a hat, long-sleeved shirt, and sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or higher. Reapply sunscreen every two hours or after sweating or swimming.
In conclusion, gardening can be an enjoyable activity, but it can also lead to injuries if proper precautions are not taken. By following these tips, you can prevent injury and stay safe while gardening. Remember to warm-up, wear the right clothing and shoes, use the right tools and techniques, take breaks, stay hydrated, and use sun protection. Happy gardening!
By: Patrick Chiu, Registered Physiotherapist
Book a telephysio / online physio / virtual physio / video physiotherapy appointment with a registered physiotherapist in British Columbia. InReach Online Physio services communities in northern and rural BC, such as Masset, Queen Charlotte, Fraser Lake, Fort Nelson, Fort St James, Dease Lake, Fort St John, Dawson Creek, the Gulf Islands, and more! InReach works closely with the First Nations Health Authority, Island Health Authority and Northern Health Authority.