You may not think of gardening as a strenuous activity, but you’d be surprise at how sore you might find yourself the next day. Hauling bags of soil, pushing a loaded wheelbarrow, mowing, raking, lifting patio stones can be quite a workout.
The health benefits associated with gardening are quite impressive, especially when you consider that you’re using all the major muscle groups, not to mention the mental benefits of working outdoors and nurturing a garden. As with any exercise program, beginning slowly and building up endurance is important. To help prevent injury and alleviate strained muscles, here are five ways to prevent injuries when gardening…
1. Stretch Before and After
Sore muscles and stiffness after gardening can indicate inadequate stretching or overused muscles the next day. After a day spent gardening, you should feel tired, but you shouldn’t hurt. Stretching before you start gardening can help warm up your muscles and prevent injury.
If you’re doing extremely strenuous work—like turning compost or shoveling soil—make sure you take frequent breaks and stretch in between. When you do the same movement over and over again, muscle fatigue can set in quickly.