Gardening Without the Aches: Tips for Back-Friendly Gardening

Gardening Without the Aches: Tips for Back-Friendly Gardening
Welcome back, wellness enthusiasts! As the weather warms up and the flowers begin to bloom - hello spring - many of us are eager to get back into our gardens and let our green thumbs do the talking (not me - Miami isn’t too garden friendly, but hey #highriselife). However, while gardening can be a therapeutic and fulfilling hobby, it can also lead to aches and pains if not done with proper care.

Here at On-The-Go-Wellness, we understand the importance of maintaining a healthy back, especially when engaging in activities like gardening. That's why we've put together some tips to help you enjoy your time in the garden without the worry of back pain.

Gardening Smart

Gardening Without the Aches: Tips for Back-Friendly Gardening
  1. Warm Up Before You Dig In: Just like any other physical activity, it’s essential to warm up your muscles before diving into gardening tasks. Take a few minutes to stretch your back, arms, and legs to loosen up tight muscles and increase flexibility. Simple stretches like side bends, trunk rotations, and hamstring stretches can help prepare your body for the work ahead. Yes, you really can pull something while planting flowers. That’s not a story you’ll want to tell.
  2. Mind Your Posture: One of the most significant contributors to back pain while gardening is poor posture. Be mindful of how you’re positioning your body as you work in the garden. Keep your back straight and avoid hunching over for extended periods. When kneeling or squatting, use supportive pads or a gardening stool to reduce strain on your lower back.
  3. Lift with Your Legs: When lifting heavy pots, bags of soil, or other garden supplies, remember to lift with your legs, not your back. Bend at the knees and hips, rather than bending over at the waist, to pick up objects from the ground. This technique helps distribute the weight more evenly and reduces the risk of injuring your back.
  4. Take Breaks: Gardening can be a physically demanding activity, so don’t forget to take regular breaks to rest and recharge. Set a timer to remind yourself to take a break every 30 minutes to an hour, depending on your level of activity. Use this time to stretch, hydrate, and give your back a chance to relax before getting back to work.
  5. Use Ergonomic Tools: Invest in ergonomic gardening tools designed to reduce strain on your body. Look for tools with padded handles, long handles to reduce bending, and lightweight materials to make your tasks easier on your muscles and joints.
  6. Rotate Tasks: Avoid repetitive motions by rotating your gardening tasks throughout the day. Alternate between activities like planting, weeding, and watering to give different muscle groups a chance to rest and recover.
  7. Listen to Your Body: Above all, listen to your body and know when it’s time to call it quits for the day. If you start to feel any discomfort or pain, take a break and assess what might be causing it. Ignoring pain signals can lead to more significant issues down the road, so don’t hesitate to seek professional help if needed. That is what we’re here for!

By following these tips, you can enjoy the therapeutic benefits of gardening while keeping your back happy and healthy. Remember, a little mindfulness and proper technique can go a long way in preventing aches and pains. Happy gardening!

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Picture of Dr. Nichole A. Walz

Dr. Nichole A. Walz

Dr. Josh Huddleston, and I are the founders of On-The-Go Wellness®. We are husband & wife, who just so happen to be Board Certified, Licensed, Chiropractic Physicians & Certified Yoga Instructors! After practicing with other clinics in the USA and Singapore for the past 5 years, we decided to start On-The-Go Wellness® to fit our active, mobile lifestyles.

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