Do you love gardening? Well, you are in luck! Gardening is a very good way to exercise meaning that it consists of strenuous physical activity. That being said, you should treat it as such and remember to warm up a bit. Do some toe touches, some leg swings, arm circles and some squats to get the knees warmed up before you start working.  Make sure you bring out the proper tools for working as well as a small stool, knee pads, or kneeling pads.  Pressure on your knees over an extended period of time can cause strain. Watch your back! Remember to lift items properly to avoid muscle strain.

 

 

Be Careful with Repetitive Motion:

Unless you are used to to the activity, repetitive motions such as digging, raking, trimming hedges, pruning bushes or planting bulbs may cause skin, tendon or nerve irritation. Make sure your gardening activities are varied and tasks are rotated every 15 minutes with a brief rest in-between so that the same muscles are not used over and over again.

 

If you've been hunched over for 30 min. then you need to straighten up for at least 10 minutes. The shape of the disks in your back will have to change to compensate for your bent position and may have compromised some of the nerves. No one wants the pain involved in a pinched nerve or muscle spasm. Better to stand upright and prevent injury.

 

There are a lot of other safety concerns while gardening.  As the weather heats up make sure that you are taking in enough water.  Hydration will help keep you cool and keep you moving. Try to rest in shaded areas so that your body's thermostat will have a chance to recover.  Avoid drinking liquids that contain alcohol or large amounts of sugar as they will dehydrate you more with little to no help.

   

Gardening is a great way to get outdoors, get exercise, and be creative.  Just make sure you listen to your body and know how to play it safe.

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