Gardening and yard work can provide endurance, flexibility and strength. Activities such as lifting, pushing wheelbarrows and shovelling all provide resistance training. Reaching for weeds or tall branches, bending and extending a rake involve stretching. It is suggested to be active for at least 30 minutes for there to be a physical benefit.
Here are some tips to help prevent injury during your gardening and yard activities. Tackle a few small projects in your yard first to “warm up” and avoid exercising too vigorously. Alternate light projects with heavier ones throughout the summer. While digging and raking, engage your core to protect your back and use your legs and lower body for strength. Bend at your knees or sit on a stool versus bending your back when working at ground level. Be careful when lifting heavy objects. Plan your lift ahead of time. Adopt a stable position and keep the load close to your waist. Don’t twist your back when lifting and move smoothly. Know your limits; especially if you have a history of back pain. Take breaks and don’t forget to hydrate!
Most importantly, enjoy the fresh air and sunshine! For further information on injury prevention, visit Summit Sport Physiotherapy so we can help keep you moving!