Good weather makes people want to spend time outside – especially this year after being cooped up inside for weeks and social distancing likely to continue for quite some time. Add in people trying to avoid grocery stores, and gardening is more popular than ever this year for both experienced gardeners and novices.
Whether you’re new to gardening or not, aches and pains are fairly common after a day of yard work. To avoid that, as well as more serious activity-based injuries, stretching beforehand is essential. Encouraging that is the focus of National Gardening Exercise Day, which happens every June 6th.
Stretching before any strenuous exercise is vital to avoid injury, and gardening is far more strenuous than the average person thinks. The American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) recommends stretching each major muscle group before any workout, significant activity, or at least twice a week for 60 seconds to maintain good health.
Does Gardening Keep You Fit?
Gardening is a significant physical activity so, yes, it is a workout and is classified as exercise. Gardening burns calories, builds muscles, and can even be good for your mental health. Some activities count as moderate exercise, such as trimming and pruning, while others count as high-intensity exercise, like digging. The intensity of other garden activities depend on the amount of time spent doing it, like weeding. Plucking a few stray weeds doesn’t burn many calories while weeding the entire yard does.
Is Pulling Weeds a Workout?
Yes, gardening can improve your physical health. For the best exercise results:
- First, start slow. Don’t try to do everything in one day.
- Stretch before starting.
- Use both arms evenly. Switch hands every 5-10 minutes when shoveling, raking, weeding, etc.
- Make sure to breathe while doing anything strenuous.
- Bend your knees when lifting.
While gardening is good exercise, here are a few more tips for avoiding injuries and staying healthy while gardening:
- Wear safety goggles to protect your eyes or at least good sunglasses.
- Sturdy shoes and long pants can prevent injury while gardening.
- If using machinery like lawnmowers and weed whackers, wear ear protection.
- Wear gloves to protect your hands from cuts, skin irritations, etc.
- Stay hydrated while gardening.
- Kneel on foam pads.
- Use long-handled tools to minimize bending
- Wear sunscreen. Sunburns make everything worse.
- Use insect repellent and follow protocols for tick prevention.
Using gardening tools properly can also help you avoid injury. A quick stretching routine or warm-up exercise before gardening will also ensure a good workout and less pain the next day. Here’s a video with more exercises.
Talk to Total Chiropractic Care and Wellness
If you overdid it in the garden or you’re having any other aches or pains, chiropractic care can help. Just contact us at Total Chiropractic Care. You will receive a comprehensive evaluation to determine if it’s the right solution for your needs and when. Dr. Goldman creates treatment plans that incorporate pain management services as well as general lifestyle recommendations to help you live the best life you can. Contact us today.