Ways To Garden Without Breaking Your Back
For many people, gardening is considered a joyful and bountiful hobby to have. It allows you (and the family) to enjoy fresh air, it helps beautify your home, it gives you peace of mind, and is also a great way to exercise your muscles..
But even if gardening gets you moving, back pain may still threaten to take the joy out of it. Injuries, flare-ups, pains, and aches, are just some of the things that you might experience that will stop you from gardening.
That doesn’t mean you have to cross having a garden off your list! With creativity and a dose of self-care, you can still practice your green thumb by following these tips to minimize injury and back pain!
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First Thing First: Warm Up
Gardening is a real workout. So before you start, warm up your muscles.
Take a brisk five-minute walk or do some stretching exercises.
Do a gentle stretch like the back flexion exercise:
- Lie down on your back.
- Pull your knees to your chest then bring your head forward.
- Release your knees then repeat the procedure eight times.
It can be easy to lift bushes, pots, and watering cans incorrectly — which can damage your back. You can carry a 40-pound bag of potting soil or mulch but the next day you may find that you have hurt your back.
Gently lift your materials or if you can, ask for help.
There are a lot of pieces of equipment that you can use to assist you in lifting heavy materials. You can use a dolly, a wagon, or other aids to carry heavy items from one place to another.
Get Support From Chairs And Kneelers
Getting down on the ground can be very painful at times, especially for prolonged periods of time. Also if the ground is unlevel or bumpy due to rocks or twigs it makes it hard to kneel.
If you need to get down on the ground, use raised, padded handles to get you up and down. It allows you to use your arm strength, instead of applying pressure to your back. You can also use a well-cushioned base or low chair to reduce the impact on your back and knees.
If you are constantly kneeling at ground level, you can also wear moveable knee pads. There are multiple types of foam that you can choose from that maximizes cushioning.
Take Your Time
The Great Wall of China or the Leaning Tower of Pisa were not built in a day.
Unless you have a helper to assist you, you need to take your time when tending to your garden. Slow down. Take some breaks in between.
Before you resume any garden activities, stretch out your lower back.
Use Hanging Baskets Or Raised Beds
Hanging baskets can help avoid stooping or bending. You don’t need to kneel down or spend time sitting on the ground.
You can also use raised beds when gardening. Using these allows you to sit while planting or harvesting. Raised beds also allows you to plant climbing vegetables like squash or peas.
There are a number of design ideas you can use for alternative planting methods. These prevent and reduce back pain:
Large Barrel Planters
Switch Tasks Frequently
Back pain is the consequence of monotonous, repetitive activities.
Constant execution of the same movement without performing other activities can promote back pain.
Changes in body posture can prevent back pain. After tending to the weeds, take a break and sit in your garden chair and admire your work. Or once you’re done watering the plants, you can get down on the ground and apply fertilizer.
Telescoping And Long Handled Tools
Using telescoping and long-handled tools can help you avoid bending, kneeling or squatting.
Switch your old tools to long-handled ones. Telescoping tools come in handy, especially if you want to reach something from ground level or in raised beds. With just a simple twist, these tools can be fully extended to about 20 inches.
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You don’t need to feel uncomfortable while tending to your garden. Ease or prevent stiff and sore back with these tips.
Do you have tips to share that help you garden without breaking your back? Share them in the comments below.