Spring has Sprung

Is Your Garden Killing you?

Cartoon gardener holding large carrotI’ve been noticing that ever since the weather got a little nicer, clients are coming to classes complaining of sore backs, hamstrings, wrists and elbows from all their yard work. Weeding, squatting, hauling, you name it, is just kinda hard on a body, especially if the body hasn’t been doing this particular activity all winter. Now you might say, “But I’m fit, I go to yoga and pilates and work out at the gym!! Why am I still so sore???” Like anything else, gardening is a specific activity that uses specific muscles. If you’re not accustomed to doing this activity, you’re going to be a bit sore, or even injured if you go at it all weekend nonstop. Think about it, if you hadn’t run all winter and then suddenly went out to run a marathon, you’d feel it, wouldn’t you?

Suggestions? As soon as the weather turns nice, start going out to do your thing in your wild backyard for 15 to 30 minutes a day, then, after a week, increase to 30 to 60 minutes. By then, you’ll probably have a lot of your work already done and shouldn’t feel the soreness as much, because you gradually worked your way into it. By the time you’ve done an hour a day for a week, you could probably manage a two hour stint on Saturday. If you really can’t find the time to do a little during the weekdays, then be sure to take frequent breaks during those weekend warrior days. Stop every half hour to stretch and have some water. Also: why not make it a group activity and invite friends and family to do some of the heavy lifting with you. More bodies makes a job easier and more fun! Sound good? Go out and pull some weeds, and when you’re done, come over to my place and rake leaves!

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