Did you know that gardening is a great form of exercise!? Here are 5 safety tips to follow during this fast-approaching gardening season:
1. Stretch your muscles and warm up your joints before, during and after gardening (e.g.: 5-minute walk before gardening).
2. Use proper body mechanics and posture to help lessen the strain on your body. Maintain a neutral spine by crouching, sitting cross legged on the ground or stool or position yourself on your hands and knees.
3. Gradually add time spent doing specific activities. Take frequent breaks. Pace yourself and rotate your gardening tasks.
4. Fit the tools to you not you to the tools. Use ergonomic equipment. Drink plenty of liquids. Be careful of overheating and dehydrating. If you experience recurring, persisting and worsening pain, seek early professional attention from a physiotherapist.
5. Physiotherapists are mobility experts for individuals of all ages and levels of fitness. Ask your physiotherapist for specific fitness and injury prevention advice. Your physiotherapist can also address your needs due to a disability or injury.
Reference: Get to Know Physio; Physiotherapy information for the public. College of Physiotherapists of Ontario; Summer 2004, Issue 8