Updated: Apr 8
As the weather warms up, we tend to start looking at doing more activities in the yard. For a lot of us, that means yard work, mowing, gardening, etc. What we don't realize is that coming off of the winter months majority of us have been less active and are more likely to have negative side effects of our day in the yard. It doesn't have to be that way, we can do some things before, during and after the fact to help us stay healthy and pain free. Here is a list to focus on when planning on doing some yard work.
This is as simple as taking a 5-10 minute walk around the block or just in the yard to get an idea or game plan of where to start.
Hydration is crucial for all types of movement and activity. The goal is to stay hydrated enough that you never feel thirsty. Staying hydrated will help you keep joints lubricated, help you regulate your body temperature and numerous other things.
If kneeling or bending over, invest in a small stool, or simply take breaks to change your posture. Hours on your hands and knees will cause stiffness & will increase the likeliness of soreness after the fact. It can be as simple as taking a break while mowing to get a drink of water.
Lift with your legs
We have always heard to lift with your legs, not with your back. While that is important it can be difficult to do. Some simple techniques to help you with this is keeping the object you are lifting close to your body. Another technique you can focus on is to simply look up when lifting items from the ground, this will help your spine to align correctly and reduce the chances of back injuries.
Use the right tools
This is important, and often overlooked. Many times we start a job with the wrong tools and instead of getting them out we end up doing something out of the ordinary to try and get the job done. We can use simple things like a dolly, a wheelbarrow, or we can simply ask someone for help.
Stretch and Cool down
Before you plop down into your chair make sure you get blood flow moving again throughout your body, especially if you have been bent over gardening or working in the flower bed. Go on a short 5 minute walk around the block and stretch before you sit down for the day.
These are just a few things that we recommend trying out on your next day in the yard. Doing all of these will significantly reduce your chances of injuries or even just reduce the amount of soreness you will experience.