Spring is here, which means warmer weather and more time outside. If gardening is your passion, here are a few tips, from the Canadian Chiropractic Association, to help prevent back pain.
Warm-up - Take a few minutes before gardening to warm up your body. This is the first step in preventing injuries. Take a short 10-15 minute walk and do some simple upper and lower body stretches to get the muscles warmed up and ready to work. The Canadian Chiropractic Association has a great app called Straighten up Canada that can help you stretch and improve your overall posture.
Drink water - When gardening in the sun it is important to keep your body hydrated. Keep a bottle of water close by and drink regularly.
Be mindful of large loads - Break down the larger loads to smaller and lighter loads that are more manageable to handle. Try to alternate between heavy and light tasks. Also, remember to lift properly to protect your back and be sure to kneel to plant, don’t bend.
Take breaks - Gardening can a very physical and hard on the body. Set a timer to remind yourself to take a break every 15-20 minutes. When the timer sounds, straighten up, move around and do a few stretches to loosen the muscles.
Breath - Remember to take deep breathes to supply oxygen to your hard working muscles.
Vary your tasks - When working, change between different tasks so that your body isn’t in the same position for extended periods.
Listen to your body - Pay attention to your body. If you are becoming tired, sore or achy it is time to take a break, change positions or even stop for the day.