Ways to Avoid Injuries While Gardening
It seems as though Woodland Hills, CA, is home to some of the most avid seasonal gardeners. Many people take the time to tend to their gardens almost every spring, but it’s also when most report feeling sore and injured after the fact. Fortunately, there are a few things you can do to avoid getting injured.
Warmup Before Starting
The objective of a warmup is to get your heart rate up slightly. A brisk 10-minute walk around the neighborhood should suffice, followed by some light stretching of the arms, legs, neck and back. Rolling your shoulders back and then forward slowly a few times should help loosen you up.
Our advice is to keep your warmup limited to around 15 minutes. Please do not overdo it.
Alternate Between Heavy and Light Activities
One of the best ways to avoid injuries when gardening in Woodland Hills, CA, is to switch between light and heavy activities every 10 minutes. For instance, if you’re digging up a flower bed to be replanted, switch to mowing the grass for another 10 minutes after that. The switch should help reduce the stress on your lower back and neck.
Don’t Engage in Prolonged and Repetitive Tasks
Now this tip ties into the tip above in the sense that you should switch from one type of work to the other. Repetitive tasks for a long time can lead to injuries like tendinosis and tendonitis. Generally, you will want to avoid prolonged periods of bending and kneeling, which can fatigue the low back muscles. When you lift something heavy, the already fatigued muscles mean you’re at a higher risk of injury.
Use Knee Pads or A Mat
When kneeling for an extended period, i.e., more than 3 minutes, you will want to use a set of knee pads or a mat to cushion the area. If you already suffer from pain when kneeling, try sitting on something like a bucket. Sitting can help a lot of the bending involved in gardening.
Move Your Feet
Whenever you are shoveling dirt, make sure to use your feet instead of twisting to shovel it away. We’ve had many people in Woodland Hills, CA come to us with spine alignment issues because they were shoveling dirt just a few weeks back by twisting.
The other thing you’d want to do is to shovel as little dirt as possible so that it weighs less. Sure, it will mean you will have to move a lot more, but that also means less stress and strain on your low back. The same goes for lifting any other type of weight, the rule of thumb is if you can’t move closer to what needs to be lifted, then lift in small amounts.
Replacing Pushing with Pulling
It is much better to push than to pull. That way, you can keep the item much closer to the body, which means adding more force. It also puts far less stress on your body.
Sometimes even all the caution in the world can’t protect you from being injured. If you’re injured gardening, be sure to pay us a visit in Woodland Hills, CA.