We love our gardens. Seeing how they develop over time, how they change with the seasons. They give us our own little place to sit quietly with a cup of tea and a paper or to run around with the children. They’re a great reason to get outside.
Looking after them is therapeutic and is in itself a form of exercise. However “low-maintenance” your garden may be, if you’re not careful, you could run the risk of developing aches and strains, especially if, like many of us, you haven’t been too active over the winter months.
That’s why we’ve put together some of the key things to remember for when you pick up that trowel! The main theme? Little and often!
#1 Ring the changes
Avoid doing the same thing for a long period of time. For example, repeated lifting, twisting, bending or digging puts too much strain on the same parts of the body so swap between tasks. And when you are lifting, bending or digging, keep your back straight and your knees bent.
#2 Just because you “can” doesn’t mean you “should”
Of course you can heave the lawnmower out from the far corner of the shed, but is it going to put undue strain on your back? Why not store it in a more accessible place, or better still, ask someone to help you? Get close to what you’re doing: don’t reach out too far in front or above you when you’re trimming the hedge. And don’t be tempted to overload that wheelbarrow or the spade when you’re digging!
#3 be kind to yourself
- Use a hosepipe rather than a heavy watering can (as long as there’s no ban!)
- Keep on top of ongoing tasks: mow the grass while it’s short, hoe weeds when they’re young
- Install raised flower beds to reduce the amount of bending you have to do
- Keep your tools sharp so you don’t have to wrestle with resistant stems and branches
- Take a break every 10 -20 minutes