Spring is nearly upon us after a long, wet winter. The clocks go forward on the 29th March which means lighter mornings and evenings. A possible silver lining with everyone staying at home due to Covid-19, means more gardening time!!
The leaves are returning to the trees, daffodils are springing up everywhere and there is the hint of lots of new wildlife coming into this world.
I had a client who recently came into the clinic told me that this year they want to make a vegetable in their garden. However, this would be totally from scratch so would require lots of digging to prepare the ground, lifting heavy bags of composts, and raking the soil, amongst other things.
I advised them on lots of little things to do and not to do. This made me think about writing a short blog to help guide some of our other clients of things to be careful of when out in the garden, whether it’s making a vegetable patch or scrubbing the decking ready for those BBQ’s (hopefully with friends!)
Tips for gardening:
- Use a wheel barrow when needing to move heavy items. It seems simple but there are many times when we think to ourselves “oh that’s not far I’ll just carry it”!! STOP!! It only takes seconds to injure yourself from lifting something too heavy even if it is just yards. Ask someone else to help you move whatever it is into a wheel barrow e.g. a bag of compost, wheel it to where you need it then you can leave it in the wheel barrow whilst you take the dirt out. Saves your back and saves time.
- Take regular breaks and stretch especially when working at varying heights in the garden. Being in one position for too long can cause your muscle to seize up and then straightening up can be really painful. Every 10 mins or so just stand up, bend down touch your toes, twist your upper body and side bend both sides, just to stretch out your muscles and then get back to the graft.
- Stay hydrated. This may sound like an easy straightforward tip, but many people do not drink enough water on a day to day basis, let alone when they are trying to get something done like gardening. As well as quenching your thirst and making you fell hydrated, water also has an effect on your muscles and joints that you may be unaware of. If you drink the appropriate amount of water, your muscles become energized, allowing you to be more awake, alert and perform at a higher level. Water is a key nutrient in the makeup of the synovial fluid, which helps lubricate your joints and allows for ease of movement.
- Ask for help. I know what it’s like when you get stuck into a job in the garden and you just want to get it finished and don’t want to be disturbed. You then come across a problem that you could do on your own but risk injury e.g. a stubborn tree root. The amount of clients that have come into the clinic because something like this has happened, is considerable. And this could all have been avoided if they had swallowed their pride and asked another person to help them take the problem.
- Wear sun protection. Ok the weather at the moment is up and down but the sun has woken up, and it is there even if we cannot see it. UV rays are still coming through the clouds and hitting our skin. Therefore, wearing hats, sun cream and sunglasses in the garden can all help to prevent getting nasty sun burn. Obviously here at Back to Balance we can’t treat this directly but it is still good to be aware.
All the tips above are from experience of working with clients that have been injured through not doing these things. If you would like further reading about gardening, click here for another blog.
Stay safe, It’s a jungle out there!!! Happy gardening.