Who doesn’t love gardening? There’s something so meditative and cathartic in the process of removing weeds and unwanted plants only to replace them with colorful annuals or new plant friends to watch bloom and grow year after year. All the meditation and catharsis gardening provides can be lost to those who live with chronic pain or are just prone to aches and pains, as it is a more physical hobby than you might expect. We have a few ideas to help prevent the painful parts of gardening so you can enjoy the best parts of gardening!
Start with a plan.
It’s SO easy to get ahead of ourselves in tackling projects. Sit down the day before and decide the best way to split up the project. Setting smaller goals for each day still leaves you with the feeling of “I accomplished what I set out to do” without burning yourself out.
2. Stay aware of HOW your body is working.
We’ve all heard the rule “lift with your legs, not your back” and it’s TRUE! While working in the yard, there are lots of little rules you should keep in mind to prevent pain and injury. Lean your weight into the shovel while digging rather than muscling through the chore, and keep your body square with the direction the shovel is facing. Try to avoid bending your back too much.
3. Garden bucket!
Rather than doing your tedious gardening work like weeding and planting seeds or annuals from a kneeling/leaning position, use a bucket as a stool to sit on! A bucket (we personally recommend recycling a clean and empty cat litter container) will keep you low enough to the ground that you can still reach your beds while taking the strain off your knees and back.
4. Warm up & cool down.
Yeah yeah we know gardening isn’t exactly a high-intensity workout, but it’s still a good idea to get your body in the groove prior to all the bending/lifting/pushing/dumping that gardening entails. It doesn’t have to be terribly involved - even a quick walk around the block followed by a short stretch would help.
Fingers crossed this list has given you a few tricks for your back pocket next time you have plans to get some yard work done, and inspired you to get outside and enjoy the sunshine and beautify your home or neighborhood! We can’t wait to see.