Spring Gardening Tips

Get Ready: Time to Put Some Spring Back in your Step!

Spring is right around the corner, are you ready to begin your gardening, spring cleaning, and get back to outside activities? Of course we might be ready in our minds – but our bodies need a warm up too! 

Prepare Yourself:

A proper warm can reduce the risk for injury.  Consider adding a short 5-10 minute walk around your house or yard as a warm up to increase blood flow to your muscles.  Stretches for the limbs and spine will allow for the mobility needed to bend and reach; thus, reducing muscle strains and back injuries. 

Protect Yourself:

When gardening, increased stress is placed on certain areas of your body including your knees and back which may be susceptible to injury.

Your knees are susceptible to injury as a result of increased kneeling time.  The following tips can help to reduce the pressure on your knee and help to reduce onset of knee pain. 

  • Add a garden cushion under your knees
  • Sit on a stool
  • Stand up and movearound every 30-45 minutes

Specific low back exercises can be an effective tool in helping to minimize stress placed on the low back while gardening.  One simple exercise to consider performing is a standing back bend.

  • Stand upright with your hands on your low back and lean backwards until you feel a stretch.
  • If your balance is limited you can do this standing next to a stable surface to reduce your risk for falling.

For additional exercises please watch the following video posted to our GoodLife Facebook Page       https://www.facebook.com/GoodLifePhysicalTherapyHomerGlen/videos/351491565487377/

Lifting heavy bags of soil or mulch can also put unnecessary stress on your back. Here are some lifting tips:

  • Stand close to the item you are lifting
  • Use a wide stance with your feet shoulder width apart
  • Squat to reach objects you are working with rather than bending over from the waist
  • Use your leg muscles when standing back upright.
  • Consider using a wheelbarrow, dolly, or ask a friend/family member for help

Recover and Repeat:

By taking short breaks during activities – it allows you to hit the “refresh” button on your body.  Staying hydrated and eating a well-rounded diet also allows for proper nutrition and fuel needed for your muscles to stay strong and recover.  Don’t forget to listen to your body and allow for rest and recovery as needed.   

Resources:

https://www.moveforwardpt.com/Resources/Detail/gardening

Experiencing any aches and pains from your return to gardening? Any further questions?

 Call one of our locations today to set up your initial evaluation and begin your journey to better!

Orland Park (708)966-4386               Homer Glen (708) 645-7700