Pull Your Weeds, Not Your Back, When Gardening in Towson
Gardening can provide a great workout, but with all the bending, twisting, reaching and pulling, your body may not be ready for exercise of the garden variety.
To alleviate pain and stiffness and prevent injury in Towson, it is important to stretch your muscles before reaching for your gardening tools. The back, upper legs, shoulders, and wrists are all major muscle groups affected when using your green thumb. A warm-up and cool-down period is as important in gardening as it is for any other physical activity.
Back Pain After Gardening in Towson MD
The following stretches will help to alleviate muscle pain after a day spent in your garden.
Garden Fitness Stretches
- Before stretching for any activity, breathe in and out, slowly and rhythmically; do not bounce or jerk your body.
- Do not follow the "no pain, no gain" rule. Stretching should not be painful.
- While sitting, prop your heel on a stool or step, keeping the knees straight. Lean forward until you feel a stretch in the back of the thigh, or the hamstring muscle. Hold this position for 15 seconds. Do this once more and repeat with the other leg.
- Stand up, balance yourself, and grab the front of your ankle from behind. Pull your heel towards your buttocks and hold the position for 15 seconds. Do this again and repeat with the other leg.
- While standing, weave your fingers together above your head with the palms up. Lean to one side for 10 seconds, then to the other. Repeat this stretch three times.
- Do the "hug your best friend." Wrap your arms around yourself and rotate to one side, stretching as far as you can comfortably go. Hold for 10 seconds and reverse. Repeat two or three times.
- Finally, be aware of your body technique, body form and correct posture while gardening. Kneel, don't bend, and alternate your stance and movements as often as possible to keep the muscles and body balanced. After gardening, do these stretches in reverse order as a "cool-down."
When The Bulbs Are Planted...
If you already feel muscle aches and pains and did not complete the warm-up and cool-down stretches, there are ways to alleviate the discomfort. Apply heat to the area of pain for 1-15 minutes at a time two to three times a day. If you continue to feel soreness, pain or strain after following these tips, it may be time to visit a chiropractor.