Active Healing Centre

Spring Is in the Air

Put a spring in your step

Spring is in the air, though those living in Western Canada may beg to differ, as one last snow storm blankets much of that region.  Here are a few tips to enjoy a favourite time of year, especially for gardeners:

Move and stretch:

  • Take a 10 – 15 minute walk around your garden/lawn as you plan your day, lifting your knees and swinging your arms to get the blood flowing.
  • Try doing side bends, by extending one arm over your head by bending from the waist. Hold for 15 seconds and repeat on the other side.
  • Stretch your quads, by bending your right knee and hold your ankle with your left hand. Hold for 15 seconds and repeat on the other side.
  • Stretch your hamstrings, by reaching your hands up while bending at the waist and reach for your toes.  Hold for 15 seconds and repeat on the other side.
  • To stretch your wrists, hold one arm in front palm down. Bend your wrist until your fingers point to the ground.  Place your hands in a prayer position while pressing your palms together. Release, but keep your arms straight and hand in a ‘stop’ position.
  • For your upper body, let your arms hang loose and rotate your shoulders forward, then rotate back.  Hug yourself snugly, and rotate at your waist to your comfort level
  • For your back, keep in a seated position while bending from the waist and let your head fall down


  • Before lifting something heavy, get close to the object.  Stand shoulder-width apart, heads up, with your feet and body in the same direction
  • Use your leg and arm muscles to slowly lift/lower the load.
  • Pivot on your heels/feet, and don’t twist.
  • Don’t lift heavy objects above your waist.
  • Get some help with heavy loads.


  • Use knee pads to decrease the pressure on your knees while you plant.
  • Rake easier by keeping one leg in front of the other.
  • Change your position often, to avoid strain and fatigue.
  • Change the position of your hands.
  • Alternate heavy loads with light ones to make the chores easier.