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  • Writer's pictureIan Thornley

Ready to get the garden blooming?


Gardening is a rewarding and enjoyable activity, but it can also be physically demanding, particularly if you have been inactive over the winter months. Preparing your body for the gardening season can help prevent injuries and ensure that you can enjoy your time outdoors to the fullest. In this blog, we will discuss some tips for getting your body ready for gardening, including the benefits of visiting an osteopath.


Stretching and Strengthening Exercises


Before you start gardening, it's important to warm up your muscles to prevent strains and injuries. Stretching exercises are a great way to get your muscles ready for the physical demands of gardening. Some stretches to consider include hamstring stretches, calf stretches, shoulder stretches, and back stretches. It's also a good idea to do some strengthening exercises to build up the muscles you'll be using while gardening. Squats, lunges, and planks are all great exercises to try.


Incorporating Aerobic Exercise


In addition to stretching and strengthening exercises, it's also important to incorporate some aerobic exercise into your routine. Aerobic exercise, such as walking or jogging, can help improve your endurance and prepare you for the physical demands of gardening. Aim to do at least 30 minutes of aerobic exercise at least three times a week to start. As you get closer to gardening season, you can increase the duration and intensity of your aerobic exercise to better prepare your body for the work ahead.


Maintaining Good Posture


Gardening can put a lot of strain on your back and neck, particularly if you're bending over for long periods of time. To prevent back and neck pain, it's important to maintain good posture while gardening. Keep your back straight, your shoulders relaxed, and your head up. When you need to bend down, try to squat rather than bending at the waist to avoid putting too much pressure on your lower back.


Using Proper Tools and Techniques


Using the proper tools and techniques can also help prevent injuries while gardening. Make sure you're using tools that are the right size for your body and that have ergonomic handles. Use a wheelbarrow or a gardening cart to transport heavy objects instead of carrying them. When lifting objects, bend your knees and use your leg muscles to lift rather than your back muscles. If you need to dig, use a spade or a shovel rather than a garden fork, as these tools are better for your back.


The Benefits of Visiting an Osteopath


Visiting an osteopath before the gardening season can also be beneficial for preventing injuries. Osteopaths are trained to assess the musculoskeletal system and identify any imbalances or dysfunctions that could lead to pain or injury. They can provide manual therapy techniques to help release tension in the muscles and joints, and they can also give you advice on stretches and exercises to do to prepare your body for gardening.

Osteopaths can also provide advice on nutrition and hydration, which are important for maintaining good physical health. They can recommend dietary changes to help reduce inflammation in the body and promote healing, and they can also advise you on how much water you should be drinking to stay hydrated.


In addition to providing preventative care, osteopaths can also help treat injuries that may occur while gardening. If you experience back pain, neck pain, or any other musculoskeletal issue while gardening, visiting an osteopath can help relieve your symptoms and get you back to your gardening activities as soon as possible.


Conclusion


Gardening is a great way to spend time outdoors and stay active, but it can also be physically demanding. By incorporating stretching and strengthening exercises, aerobic exercise, maintaining good posture, using proper tools and techniques, and visiting an osteopath, you can prepare your body for the gardening season and prevent injuries. Remember to take care of your body while gardening and remember to take breaks when you need them, and don't push yourself too hard. With these tips and a little bit of preparation, you can get your body ready for gardening in the spring and enjoy all the benefits of this wonderful activity. So, start planning your garden, gather your tools, and get ready to spend some quality time outdoors!



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