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Tips for Saving Your Back During Gardening Season

Warm weather can be a perfect time for you to head outdoors and work on your favorite garden. Getting outdoors to prune your favorite plants, lay down some new mulch, and pot your favorite plants for the new season can be a great activity, but it can also cause back pain and other related injuries if you’re not mindful. Take a look at some of the many tips you can do to save your back during gardening season and to help you avoid other related gardening injuries.

Health Benefits of Gardening
There are plenty of fantastic health benefits to getting outdoors and gardening during the warmer months of the year. Gardening can be hard work and it can be comparable to a good exercise routine with all of the activities you’ll be doing. Stepping outdoors during the warmer months of the year can help you breathe in some quality fresh air and improve your mood. Gardening can be a great activity to help you relieve stress and help you focus your efforts on a productive activity. One study found that gardening can help to improve physical, psychological, and social health. Not only can gardening be a great way to help you relieve stress and improve your mood, but it can also help you get active and get the blood pumping with all of the compound movements you’ll do while tuning up your garden area.

9 Tips to Protect Your Back During Gardening Season
Develop a Realistic Game Plan
One of the best things you can do to save your back and reduce the risk of an injury is to develop a realistic game plan before you get started. Avoid trying to take on a massive gardening project on a whim. Instead, a few days and weeks before gardening season comes around, start thinking about what projects you’d like to tackle, and determine whether or not you can reasonably accomplish them. When gardening, just like any other major project, you want to make sure that you start small and build up your efforts over time. Make a game plan on what you hope to accomplish and see if you can do it yourself or if you’ll need some support. If you need some support, don’t hesitate to ask friends and family members, even your neighbors. Gardening is one of the most enjoyable activities for many people, so asking your neighbors if they can help out and spare a few minutes can be a great way to meet new faces, create meaningful memories, work on a fun project together, and save your back during the gardening season so you can avoid a gardening injury. Plan to segment activities and limit the amount of time dedicated to your gardening project at one to avoid overdoing things. Consider how active you have been over the winter and don’t exceed those time limits to give your body a chance to adjust to changes in activity levels. This may mean completing gardening activities for a shorter amount of time broken up over a few days instead of one long day.

Stretch and Warmup
As with any workout, you should practice good and safe habits, which include making sure that you spend some time stretching and warming up before getting into the deep roots of your gardening project. Stretching and warming up can help your body adequately prepare and ease into the strenuous activity that can come from gardening and help you avoid those common gardening injuries. Make sure to stretch and warm up your hands, wrists, shoulders, arms, legs, and back. An effective warmup and stretching routine will help you prepare your body for all that you ask of it while gardening.

Think of Gardening as a Workout
It’s always important to remember that while gardening might seem like a mundane activity at first, it’s really a workout. Gardening is hard work. You’ll be moving equipment, pots, flowers, and whatever else you’re doing to spruce up your garden from one spot to another. You’ll be actively digging, lifting objects, moving, and setting objects down at a given time. Pushing, pulling, and engaging all sorts of muscles during a gardening session. During your gardening period, you’ll be performing many compound movements that are similar to activities you could do in a strenuous workout.

Be Mindful and Protect Your Back and Spine
As you’re gardening, you want to be mindful of your back and spine. There are several things you can do to potentially reduce the risk of an injury which can include using proper lifting techniques when bending, lifting, or moving heavy objects. Avoid staying in one position too long, whether that’s standing straight up, bending over, or leaning. Strive to wear comfortable shoes that will also provide an adequate amount of support. Utilizing a garden stool that allows you to sit on an elevated seat or flip to kneel on can take the stress off of your back caused by prolonged bending positions while pulling weeds or planting. Whether you choose to sit or stand while doing these activities, stop frequently and extend your back in the opposite direction to give it a break from that flexed position. You’ll be walking to and from, lifting, and moving items, and yo