6 tips to ease you back into gardening

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Due to winter and the inclement weather over the past few weeks, many of us have not had a chance to get back into the garden. With the long weekend coming up and good weather forecast many people will be back out gardening for the first time this year, so here are some tips to help you get back without suffering the dreaded aches and pains.


1.   Warm up

Gardening is no different to any sport where you warm up, so be kind to your body and warm up before you start the hard stuff, so walk around the garden or start after you have been for a short walk.


2.   Tools

Get the right implements and footwear for the job and your height. It really makes a difference. For instance, digging is made so much easier if you have a decent spade with a long handle and knee pads and stools for jobs nearer the ground.

3.   Vary the task.

Change tasks every so often, so don’t spend a whole afternoon digging when you haven’t done it for ages. For example, do some digging for 20 minutes and then go to weed kneeling down or pruning and vice versa. By going off to do something else that uses a different part of your body then you will make life easier for yourself. It also prevents repetitive strain injury.

4.   Mind your back.

If bending down to weed or sow seeds in the ground then stand up and walk around every so often, or you can stretch your back in the cat/cow yoga style to ease it out. You may also want to think about having raised beds to make life easier for yourself. If you are sowing peas or lots of seeds into the ground, then why not get your children or grandchildren involved?

If sowing seeds or potting up, set up a potting table at hip height for yourself on your garden table or other table if you are not lucky enough to have a potting shed, particularly useful when you are sowing lots of seeds or repotting.


5.  Heavy Lifting

If you must do heavy lifting on your own, then remember to squat (bending your knees only) and keeping your back straight. Ensure that you grip with both hands and keep the item as close to your body as possible when you are straightening your knees to lift. Use a wheelbarrow or sack barrow, if possible, to move any heavy items, Even better have your pots on a plant tray with wheels.


6.  Stop

Make sure you listen to your body. If you start to feel pain at any point, stop and take a break. If the pain doesn't go away, then perhaps wait until the next day to resume any gardening.

To summarise, build up slowly, don’t go and spend the whole day at it without taking breaks and hydrate well. Make sure you stretch when you finish after a prolonged session and lastly, look after yourself with a bath (or a foot bath if you don’t have a bath) with some Epsom salts and you can also use a magnesium spray to ease out your muscles.

For more information on the stretches in this article, please contact me through the website or give me a call.

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