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.