Well we are being teased with this tantalizing warmer weather the last few days. I have no doubt that Mother Nature will slap us back in the face before winter departs until next year. The thing is with warmer weather is that we all want to get outside and tackle the gardens.

It never fails that after a beautiful spring weekend we have people crawling into the office and screaming for help!!!

You know there are a few basics that must be followed when ever you tackle a new task and use a new set of muscles. It doesn’t matter if it is working in the yard or playing golf you need to take certain precautions.

Can you imagine a professional hockey, baseball, tennis or fill in the blank of your sport would come to the event and then just play? Well of course not as a matter of fact you would find that patently absurd. But when you think of it how are you any different. You are asking your body to cash cheques that it is just not ready to do.

In a concept I refer to as Athletes at Work you need to consider yourself an athlete at any physical task that you tackle.

If you are bound to be gung ho in the yard with a rake and shovel what have you done to prepare yourself? Do you think it is prudent to prepare yourself? You see it is important to get blood flowing to the muscle groups that you are about to use.

Further you need to pace yourself for the task at hand. First off do some gentle stretches in your shoulders, thighs, arms, neck and lower back. If you need specific stretching exercise email us and we will be happy to send you the exercises.

Ok … back to the lawns and garden…. Make sure you have the appropriate tools. Use longer handles where possible. Tackle your jobs with pace alternating heavier and lighter loads. Drink lots of water to keep hydrated.

Understand that it is not a race. Take you time and tackle small areas. You spine will appreciate it. If you are going to plant or weed get down on your knees. Kneel on a pad where plausible. Enjoy your time in the outdoors and remember you are an athlete in the garden….prepare your self and pace yourself!

Dr Brian D Huggins – Alliance Healthcare Professionals