Gardening is a chore for some people, a passion for others. Whatever your gardening involves – even it just means pulling the weeds out from between the paving stones you covered the grass with – it can be a physical strain. Where gardening is a passion, there will be a lot of work to do. Your body will be pulled and twisted and bent, and although no one thing may be damaging in itself, the cumulative effect of several hours of such movements will amount to a pretty strenuous workout. For this reason, it is important to prepare properly with stretching that loosens up your muscles, especially those in your back, upper legs, shoulders, and wrists.
Garden Fitness Stretches
- Before stretching for any activity, breathe in and out, slowly and rythmically; do not bounce or jerk your body, and stretch as far and as comfortably as you can. Do not follow the no pain, no gain rule. Stretching should not be painful. o While sitting, prop your heel on a stool or step, keeping the knees straight. Lean forward until you feel a stretch in the back of the thigh, or the hamstring muscle. Hold this position for 15 seconds. Do this once more and repeat with the other leg.
- Stand up, balance yourself, and grab the front of your ankle from behind. Pull your heel towards your buttocks and hold the position for 15 seconds. Do this again and repeat with the other leg.
- While standing, weave your fingers together above your head with the palms up. Lean to one side for 10 seconds, then to the other. Repeat this stretch three times.
- Do the "Hug your best friend." Wrap your arms around yourself and rotate to one side, stretching as far as you can comfortably go. Hold for 10 seconds and reverse. Repeat two or three times.
Finally, be aware of your body technique, body form and correct posture while gardening. Kneel, don’t bend, and alternate your stance and movements as often as possible to keep the muscles and body balanced.
When the Bulbs Are Planted…
If you already feel muscle aches and pains and did not complete the warm-up and cool-down stretches, there are ways to alleviate the discomfort. Apply a cold pack on the area of pain for the first 48 hours or apply a heat pack after 48 hours, and if you are not already under regular chiropractic care to help maintain your spine and nervous system then now would be a great time for an initial check up. Chiropractic care will help your body to function at it’s very best. That means that you will recover from injuries faster and you will be less likely to get injured in the first place. When it comes to your spine and nervous system, just like the majority of things related to our health, prevention is the true key to success. We can help design a program of chiropractic care for you to first optimize your spine and then to learn how to properly maintain it. Give our office a call today and get on the road to optimal health.
Dr. Grey Gardner