Spring is in the air, and summer is just around the corner! Warmer temperatures tend to bring us outside to work in the yard or garden. Whether chore or hobby, there are several good tips for maintaining your spinal health while performing work outdoors!
Planting flowers, pouring mulch, mowing the lawn, digging, weed eating and most other landscaping related activities take a certain level of physical ability to perform. It is not a bad idea to lightly stretch or take a short walk before getting into any project. This warm up will prepare your muscles and lend your body some protection for the physical tasks ahead.
When you are gardening make sure to move your body as close to your work space as possible. Maintain good posture by squatting deeply and keeping your back upright. If this position doesn’t work for you, you may kneel while maintaining that upright posture. Place a cushioned pad beneath your knees for any needed extra support. Whatever you do, make sure you aren’t reaching to work. If you are reaching, you need to get closer to your workspace, if you are mowing a Hanover PA lawn.
When bending over to pick up weeds, debris or other trash, make sure you bend at the knees—never the waist. It is important to face the object you are picking up, bend at the knees to lift it and then move your feet and body to face the trash can or area that you are moving the load. Bending at the waist or twisting from a bent position can put unnecessary strain on your lower back.
Use sun screen when you are going to be outside for long periods of time, and always hydrate with plenty of water throughout the day. Remembering all these tips will help to ensure a much better experience when sprucing up your yard for a beautiful spring and summer!
Kelly J. Donaldson DC, MS