Planning on doing some gardening this spring? Follow these S.M.A.R.T tips to help prevent you from
getting injured. Happy Gardening!
STRETCH – BEFORE, DURING AND AFTER GARDENING
Once you feel a stretch, hold the position for 10 – 15 seconds – do not bounce or jerk. Repeat each stretch two or three times.
MOVE – TODAY FOR TOMORROW
Moving with your work – keep your work in front of and close to your body to avoid reaching and twisting. Lift with your knees bent, keeping your back straight
ADD IT UP – AN HOUR IS POWER
Add up all you do in a day and aim for a minimum of 60 minutes of movement every day.
REDUCE STRAIN – USE TOOLS THAT WORK FOR YOU
Keep your supplies within easy reach – consider using an apron with pockets
Use tools to reduce work – a wheelbarrow to transport supplies, an extended handle to reduce the reach, and
tools with good grips or ergonomic handles
TALK TO A PHYSIOTHERAPIST
Physiotherapists are able to help you to increase your mobility, relieve pain, build strength, and improve balance and cardiovascular function. Physiotherapists not only treat injuries, they also teach you how to prevent the onset of pain or injury that can limit your activity.
Work within your physical strength. Standard safe lifting loads are 64 lbs. (about 29 kg) for middle-aged men and 28 lbs. (about 13 kg) for women – but a ‘safe’ lift is less than this when the load is difficult to reach or an awkward shape
Pace yourself! Take a break, spread tasks over a period of time, and take time to recover between projects
Rotate tasks. Avoid over-use injuries by doing different activities throughout the day to reduce strain on major muscle groups and joints