As our collective well-being is front and center, so too is being out in nature and enjoying the fruits of our labor. One very vital source of overall health is communing with the earth, and what better way to partake in such an activity than to dig your hands in the soil and start (or cultivate) a garden. The mere act of planting, harvesting, and reaping the benefits of a vegetable or flower garden can mean the difference between a heightened mindful life versus one that is unavailable to be aware of the outdoors.
For whatever reason, gardening ties in every facet of the body's ability to move and feel good. Whether Spring, Summer, or Autumn, each season of the year offers a boon to the colorful and characteristic essentials that a home garden provides. The key here though, is to ensure that you understand how to maintain not only your seed-to-table offerings, but the way in which your body accommodates the laborious task of gardening, in general.
The Body is Designed to Move
Gardening is akin to the ultimate activity that utilizes almost every muscle group. From lifting bags of soil to kneeling up and down to plant your seeds or shrubs, to tilling the earth, and even walking back and forth with a broom or rake to clean up your mess. Throw out the leaf blowers! They only create a lazy human and lots of noise pollution.
Your body is designed to move. Ask any physiotherapist or personal trainer who specializes in anatomy and kinesiology, the very foundation of how muscles and ligaments respond to daily bouts of motion. It's exactly what we need in order to combat injuries and elevate our immune systems.
From the top of your head to the bottoms of your feet, every ounce of injury prevention is necessary in order to enjoy gardening well into your elder years. In fact, creating an abundant garden helps your mental, physical, and spiritual health. In order to reap the benefits of this wonderful act of gardening, here are tips and measures from the perspective of a professional physiotherapist who wants you to be able to remain uninjured during your daily bouts of the precious activity of gardening.
The Guide to Injury Prevention During Your Garden Days
Do you ever wonder how so many individuals have the most beautiful garden and are in the midst of each plant day after day? Chances are, those very same people have adopted a mindset on how important it is to care for your body when you want to be submerged into gardening as your chosen hobby. Following are several ways to remain active, alert and by all means body injury-free as you tend to your plants and pots throughout the year.
Make stretching a daily ritual
Before and after you spend hours each day in your garden no matter the extent of the task, set aside time to stretch your body from top to bottom. Carving out a daily stretching and flexibility program can make a difference in warding off muscle soreness or muscular strain.
Hire a personal trainer
As the personal training profession has exploded in the past decade or so, hiring one who is knowledgeable on the profound act of gardening and the muscles involved in this strenuous activity, you'll find that lifting clay pots and carrying heavy bags of soil won't feel as burdensome. If they understand the body and what it needs to be a successful gardener, it's worth the investment.
Your dietary habits and lifestyle can directly relate to the amount of energy you need to spend on performing the daily gardening responsibilities. If you limit your protein content, you could possibly set yourself up for muscular failure. If you overdo processed carbohydrates, chances are they'll taste amazing from the onset but leave you feeling bonked after an hour or two in your garden. Keep your diet balanced, healthy, full of a wide variety of nutritious foods, and you'll notice how you'll be digging your hands into the soil from sunup to sundown.
Having the proper equipment
When you set out to become a seasoned gardener, it's crucial to have the right tools to aid in your quest.
- Knee pads to prevent scraping your skin.
- A small chair set at the correct height to take pressure off of your back when your kneeling to weed gets tiring
- Hand tools that allow for manual dexterity
- A rake, broom, and compost bin nearby to place all discards in when finished with pruning and weeding
- Gloves to protect your hands from cuts or thorns
- A hat to protect your face and head from overexposure to the sun
- A water bottle to ensure you're hydrating throughout gardening time
Paying close attention to your body's needs during the long hours of morning or afternoon sun will reward you with a reinvigoration for gardening every single day.
In a Nutshell
Gardening is an exceptionally strenuous act to partake in if you're unaware of the hazards to your muscular structure and how it operates for any given movement. Being amongst plants and the earth is also incredibly beneficial to the mind, body, and soul, therefore preparing yourself with strength and flexibility will ensure you don't injure yourself and can take pride in your blooms for years to come.