Summer is finally here! So now is the time to get those gardens looking glorious in preparation for good weather and BBQ’s!

Here are a few hints and tips to keep you pain free and enjoying your garden.

  • Try having a warm up to prepare your muscles and warm them up. This will help reduce stiffness and prepare for activities such as bending, digging, shoveling or kneeling as these can all put a strain on our muscles.
  • Lots of kneeling? try using a foam pad to kneel on to take the pressure of your joints.
  • Repetitive movements? Try to avoid repetitive motions to the same side and alternate from right to left when shoveling or digging, this will avoid putting to much strain through your lower back.
  • Beware of bending and reaching: make sure you are bending at the knees to save your lower back – having a lower centre of gravity will also help prevent falls!
  • If you have existing back problems, possibly try re-arranging the garden (with help!). Raised beds may be an easier option or using planters or pots.
  • Try using tools – Using long handled tools can also be helpful as it will give you back a rest! As well as using things like wheelbarrows to help move around heavier pots or materials in the garden.
  • Be careful when lifting and don’t try to be a hero! Make a couple of trips when carrying compost or watering cans – this will prevent you from over-straining carrying one heavy load.
  • When there is a warm up, there must be a cool down. After finishing your session, don’t just sit, try to go for a gentle walk or have a stretch otherwise you may find your muscles become very stiff and sore the following day.
  • Lastly, pace yourself and take plenty of breaks! Listen to your body and don’t over do it.
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