As Canadians, we are blessed with a wonderful country that has very limited warm weather. As a result we try to cram a year’s worth of activities into a three or four month summer. After a winter of relative inactivity, people then attack active summer activities with a vengeance.
One of these activities is gardening. Surprisingly, the mechanism of gardening injuries are almost like those of sports injuries, often caused by doing too much too soon at the start of the season. Activities such as bending over while weeding for extended periods of time, trimming branches or even pushing the lawn mower is hard work when our bodies aren’t used to it. Think of gardening as almost like participating in a sport. You shouldn’t go out and play that first season game of golf or tennis without first warming up.
To avoid gardening injuries here are a few basic thoughts to consider.
- stretch and warm up before starting work in the garden just like you would if playing a sport
- don’t try to do it all right away. Spread the work out over a longer period
- Take frequent breaks. Try not to be working in one position for too long.
- Drink lots of fluids when working outside on a warm day.
- Don’t forget sunscreen and/or a hat
Always approach gardening as if it was sport. Use the principles of warm up, stretching and cool down when gardening and injuries can be minimized.