Many people are out in their gardens now that this great weather has arrived, but gardening can put strain on your back and your joints.

Here are some quick tips to help you avoid injury when gardening:

Warm Up and Stretch
Do at least 5 -10 minutes of light cardio exercise to warm up the body and get the blood flowing, such as taking a walk or marching on the spot.

After the warm-up it is important to stretch the muscles before gardening. Make sure you stretch your back, quadriceps, hamstrings, calves, shoulders and arms.

Alternate Your Tasks
Alternate your light gardening tasks with your heavy tasks.

Take Frequent Breaks
You should be taking a short break every 10-15 minutes. Staying in one position for too long can lead to injury.

Kneel Instead of Bending
Bending over can put strain on your back. By kneeling it takes pressure off your back. Use knee pads or a kneeling mat to protect the knee joints.

Drink Lots of Water
It is important to stay hydrated during the hot months. This will also allow you to take more breaks. And don’t forget to protect yourself against the sun.

Break Up Your Gardening
Spread out your tasks over multiple days. Do a little every day instead of trying to tackle it all in one day.

Buy Ergonomic Tools
Treat your body right with equipment that is easier on your body. There are new tools out there that are made for proper alignment and different body sizes.  We do it for our desks and offices, so why not get better equipment for your garden?

If you have any questions, would like to know specific stretches for gardening or would like to book an appointment with Dr. Joy, call the office at 416-760-9424.

Yours in Health,
Dr. Randi Joy