Pulling weeds, not your back
Gardening is no different from any other type of exercise: doing it wrong can result in injury.
Posted Apr 1, 2009
Many homeowners are trading in their treadmills for exercise of the garden variety. Bending, reaching and digging in the garden can provide a great workout, but can cause muscle injuries if precautions are not taken.
"A warm up and cool down period is just as important for gardening or doing yard work as it is for any other athletic activity," states Dr. James R. Fedich, chiropractor, "Stretching during those periods is essential to prevent injuries, pain and stiffness." Before stretching for any activity, there are a few tips to keep in mind: Breathe in and out slowly throughout stretching exercises, gently and smoothly, do not bounce or jerk your body in any way, and make sure you stretch only as far as you can comfortably.
The following are some simple stretches you can try at home before beginning your weed pulling workout: Achilles Tendon Stretch, stand up and prop your back heel on a doorstep or stool with your knee straight, bend forward until you feel a slight pull in the muscle in the back of the thigh, hold for 20 seconds, then relax. Repeat three times. Next, stand up and put your right hand against a wall or other stable surface. Bend your left knee and grab your ankle with your left hand, pull your heel towards your buttock to stretch the quadriceps muscles at the front of the thing. Hold for 20 seconds, repeat, and try the other leg. Third, try the "hug your best friend" wrap your arms around yourself and rotate as far as you can to one side, hold for ten seconds, then try the other side.
"There are lots of great books on stretching techniques at your local bookstore, and plenty of easy at home things to prevent injuries," stated Dr. Fedich. Finally, if you do experience some type of injury while doing yard work, always put ice on it first, 20 minutes on and 20 minutes off. If your aches and pains persist over 48 hrs, it's probably time to see your chiropractor. This full article and many other published health articles can be found on Dr. Fedich's website, or call his office at (908) 813-8200. Most of all be sure to have fun, enjoy the nice weather, and be safe.
Dr James Fedich is the owner of Village Family Chiropractic, Allamuchy NJ, providing natural healthcare, and chronic pain treatment with non-invasive surgical procedures. For further information, visit their website, or call (908) 813-8200.