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Gardening Re-leaf

We are getting to that time of year again when the weather starts to get a little warmer and the garden needs some TLC. Let us not forget that our body also needs a little TLC also.

It is so important to take extra care while carrying out garden duties, to avoid muscle strain.

Getting out in the garden can be a real joy. However, if you’re not used to all the extra exercise and physical movement that donning a rake or trowel will bring, you could end up doing your body more harm than good.

Did you know that digging, mowing and stooping can place considerable stress on the ligaments and joints in the lower spine and can cause them to become inflamed and tender? This in turn triggers a protective muscle spasm, which gives rise to the deeper, duller, achy type of pain that occurs over the following few days. Therefore taking extra care of your muscles and joints, especially when undertaking a form of exercise that you are not used to, is very important.

Follow these ten top tips for warding off garden aches and pains:

  1. Gently stretch your muscles and ligaments for a few minutes before and after gardening; but don’t bend down to touch your toes — this can cause damage

  2. Wear light, but warm clothes & make sure your lower back is always covered

  3. Kneel on one leg rather than bending your back repeatedly

  4. Use long handled tools to prune tall plants

  5. Use only a small spade/fork for digging and keep your back gently hollowed

  6. Do not always work to one side only; ensure that you change your position regularly

  7. Don’t do the same work for long periods; try and vary your tasks

  8. Keep your back straight when carrying

  9. Have a warm bath or shower after you’re finished

  10. Do not sit for too long in your favourite armchair after carrying out work in the garden; instead stand up regularly and walk around for a minute or two.

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