Below are other tips from fitness suite 101...
- Don’t make it a marathon: keep a regular gardening routine. Instead of trying to do everything over the weekend, schedule at least 30-60 minutes of yard work two to three times per week.
- Warm up your body by taking a brisk walk around the yard before any vigorous work.
- When raking, change the movement and alternate the sides of your body to ensure you are working them both equally.
- When digging, switch hands often so you are using both arms. This helps prevent muscle imbalances, repetitive motion injuries and blisters.
- Bend at your knees and keep your back straight when lifting heavy items.
Don't forget to stretch after gardening.
“As with any good exercise program, be sure to cool down with these stretches to help alleviate post yard work aches and pains,”
- Hamstring stretch: Stand with feet shoulder width apart and slide one foot in front of the other. Gently sit your hips back and support your upper body on the leg you did not move. Hold for 15-30 seconds and switch legs.
- Lower back stretch: Stand with feet shoulder width apart. Bend knees slightly and bend at the hips. Support your upper body with your hands on your thighs. Gently round your back so it arches like a cat.
- Chest opening: Stand tall and relax your shoulders down your back. Reach hands back with thumbs pointing up. If this is uncomfortable, grasp hands behind back and lift your chest.
- Upper-back stretch: Stand with your feet shoulder width apart. Bring palms together and reach arms away from body. Feel the stretch between your shoulder blades.
Remember basic precautions when outdoors
Lastly, don’t forget your hat, sun protection and gloves – even in autumn.
- Wear sunscreen, long-sleeved shirts, pants and a wide-brimmed hat to limit sun exposure.
- Drink plenty of water to replace the sweat.
- Use gloves to help prevent blisters and splinters to your hands.
- Use a kneeling cushion to support your knees.