Spring is officially here, and here to stay! We are all eager to begin our gardening and lawn care, but the long days can bring about aches and pains.  Read the tips below to learn how to plant and rake without the ache!

Gardening can be a great workout, but the bending, twisting, reaching and pulling can make even the strongest accident prone.  The back, upper legs, shoulders and wrists are the major muscle groups to stretch before and after gardening.  Simple stretches before and after can help prevent injuries, pain and stiffness.  Stretching should not be painful - stretch as far as and as comfortably as you can. 

Be aware of body technique, form and posture while gardening.  Kneel, do not bend, and alternate stance/movements as often as possible to keep muscles and your body balanced.

Below are some stretches to help prevent gardening injuries.

1. Hamstring Stretch - Stretch your leg out in front of you, keeping your leg straight and prop your heel on an elevated surface. Lean forward until you feel a stretch in the back of your elevated leg (your hamstring muscle). Hold for 15 seconds.  Repeat twice on each side.

2. Hands Overhead Stretch - While standing, weave your fingers together above your head with your palms to the sky.  Lean slightly to one side for 10 seconds, then the other side for 10 seconds.  Repeat three times.

3. Tricep Stretch - Stand with your chin tucked in, with both arms raised with a bend at the elbows.  Hold your left elbow with your right hand, as your left elbow bends and left palm faces down between your shoulders.  Press with your right hand to stretch your left arm.  Hold for 30 seconds.  Repeat on the other side.

4. Change It Up! Make sure you are alternating positions and movements as often as possible.  Alternate kneeling knees, side twisting/reaching, etc.  

If the aches from gardening still bother you, give us a call for a check-up.  A simple adjustment keeps the injuries small and short-lived.