Gardening Smarter – Tips to Keep Your Back In Check

With the gorgeous sunny weather this weekend , I, like many of you, found myself at the local garden centre. My wife, Sam, is great at picking out those lovely new plants   – you would think we had a couple of acres not a small courtyard garden!  – though it’s me who ends up planting them! 

Although it’s not really my thing, there’s no denying it’s wonderful to see the garden looking lovely once eveything’s in place.

But it’s easy to overdo it during that first sunny weekend when everyone rushes outside. So I thought it important to share some tips to help you do so without straining your back.

1. Plan Your Tasks Wisely

Organise your gardening tasks into short, manageable segments. Avoid trying to do everything in one go. Spread your tasks over several days to avoid overtaxing your back.

2. Use Ergonomic Tools 

Choose ergonomic tools that reduce strain on your body. Tools with longer handles help keep your back straight, and lightweight tools are easier on your muscles. A garden kneeler can save your knees and back from extra stress.

3. Keep Good Posture 

Maintain good posture as you work. Use your legs to bend and lift—not your back—and keep your spine straight while digging or raking. This helps prevent back strain and other injuries.

4. Take Regular Breaks

It’s crucial not to overdo it. Set a timer if necessary, and take breaks every 20 to 30 minutes. Stand up, stretch, and walk around to loosen any tight muscles. This not only prevents strain but also gives you a moment to plan your next steps.

5. Lift Properly

Always lift with your legs by squatting down to the ground, keeping your back straight as you pick something up. Avoid lifting heavy loads alone—use a wheelbarrow or ask for help to distribute the weight more evenly.

6. Stay Hydrated and Protected

Keep hydrated and protect yourself from the sun. Drink plenty of water, and wear sunscreen and a hat. Staying hydrated and protected from sunburn helps maintain your energy and focus.

7. Listen to Your Body 

Pay close attention to what your body tells you. If you start feeling pain or discomfort, it’s time to stop and rest. Adjust your plan based on how you feel to prevent injuries.

8. Take a Warm Bath

Finally, consider taking a nice hot bath to relax your muscles after a day in the garden. The warmth can help reduce muscle tension and promote relaxation, providing a soothing end to your gardening day.

Enjoy Gardening Wisely!

Remember, gardening should be enjoyable, not a task that leaves you sore for days. By breaking down tasks and not doing too much at once, you can enjoy your gardening days throughout the summer.

And here’s another tip: maybe you should take a leaf out of Sam’s book—choose your favourite plants, and then let someone else do the planting!

Until next time! Happy gardening! 🌼 🍀


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