You may think of gardening as merely a fun, casual activity, but in reality, it’s a formidable task that can result in many injuries. So before going to your backyard and taking all the tools out of your garden shed, you should warm up and stretch. Also, here are a few tips and tricks to avoid getting more than a thorn in your finger.
Use proper body mechanics.
Raking the dead leaves in the backyard or picking up debris over and over may seem harmless. But when you do it incorrectly, you risk getting back injury. So it’s important you use proper body mechanics whenever you have to bend. That’s especially true when you have to pick up a heavy box or equipment from the floor.
The proper lifting technique goes like this: bend your knees & hips as if you’re squatting down to the load or item, hold and keep the object close to your chest and straighten your legs to lift it. Don’t attempt to lift by bending forward, as that can strain your back, shoulders, and other parts of your body.
Take regular breaks.
Pace yourself when working in your garden, especially during a hot day. Keep in mind that working in the heat can cause exhaustion and dehydration. You can set the alarm on your phone every 30 minutes to remind yourself to rest and recharge. During breaks, make sure to drink water to keep yourself hydrated. You should also reapply your sunscreen or bug repellent every two hours.
Also, it’s best to work in the yard during the early mornings or evenings. That’s when the temperature is cooler, and your family members are likely there to lend a hand.
Use ergonomic and safety tools.
Whether redecorating your backyard or tending the garden, you need proper tools. It’s even better if your safety and gardening tools are ergonomic. For instance, garden trowels with curved-shaped & easy-grip handles won’t easily strain you even if you use them for a prolonged period. They won’t slip and cause you to tumble.
In addition, always wear high-quality protective gloves with non-slip surfaces. These will help prevent you from getting blisters and protect you from thorns and other sharp objects in the yard. Also, wear long sleeves, pants, and sneakers to protect your arms, legs, and feet from insect bites, thorns, cuts, and scrapes.
Change tasks from time to time.
Switch up your tasks when working in the yard. That’s because repetitive motions and staying in one position for a long time can make your body & muscles tight. So if you’re bending down to pull out weeds, stand up straight after 10 to 15 minutes. Perform some stretches and then go back to pulling out weeds. Or better yet, switch it up and work on your raised garden beds or pressure-wash your pavements.
Store your gardening tools safely.
After hours of bending, kneeling, and lifting, you might find yourself too tired to deal with your tools. But failing to store your gardening tools safely can also cause injuries. So after gardening, take a break and then go back to the yard to deal with the tools. Remember to store sharp blades facing down to avoid any accident. Also, put the equipment back in the garden shed to keep them out of reach of your children.
Enjoy, but don’t strain yourself.
The bottom line here is you should enjoy yourself tending to your garden or refreshing the look of your backyard, but don’t strain yourself. Don’t forget to stretch before doing any yardwork, and remember all the tips above to avoid cuts, back pain, and other injuries.