Three Ways to Save Your Back in the Garden
Let’s face it – if we spend time working in the yard, we often end up
with a sore back. Here are some ideas for you to prevent the ache.
- Warm up first.
I know, it sounds so boring.
But it could be just a frisky walk before heading out to the garden.
While you walk, swing your arms, gently move your shoulders.
If you know a few Yoga warm-ups, do those on the floor. Ask me for ideas!
Do 5 or 10 squats, sending your hips back and your arms forward as you bend your knees. Keep your knees back, not over your toes.
Have a big glass of water before putting on those gardening gloves, because hydrated muscles are happier muscles.
If it’s a warm day, take a water bottle with you outside.
- Bend properly.
Hinge from the hips, keeping your low back flat.
Bend your knees if needed, to keep your low back flat.
Not sure how to do this? Ask me - I can show you how, on a Zoom call.
After half an hour or so, pause. Set the timer on your phone if you have to. It took me 60 years of playing in the dirt to realize that if I take 5-minute breaks in the garden, I actually get more done, because I can spend a bit longer working in the yard, and feel much better the next day.
~ breathe ~
Do the very challenging Yoga pose pictured here.
~ breathe ~
Then get up and take a nice walk around the garden,
admiring what you’ve done so far.
- Change positions frequently.
Thinning a whole row of carrots? Do a quarter of the row. Stand up and do a completely different gardening task for a few minutes. Do another quarter of the row, shift again. Your body will thank you.
Weeding a bed? Take a kneeling pad with you. Kneel for a bit. Squat for a bit. Stand up, have a drink of water.
Do you have a Swiss ball? You can lie on it, belly down, and weed with both hands. Protect it from stones, etc. by putting it on your Yoga mat.
You can see where I’m going with this. The mat will remind you to do a few stretches during your gardening pauses, and again when you’re finished.