With the beautiful weather upon us and summer around the corner, many folks have started to prepare their garden for this season’s floral display. Gardening is a great way to get active, enjoy the sun, and add some curb appeal! With that said, it is important to remember to warm the body up with some simple stretches to help keep you limber and prevent injury.
Here at Oakville Chiropractic Centre, we believe in gentle conditioning and stretches that avoid jerky or bouncing motions, inflict pain, or cause undue stress and strain to the joints and muscles of the body. Here are a few quick tips to get your green thumbs (and rest of the body) ready to go!
- Start with a short walk to get the heart rate up and blood pumping. 10 to 15 minutes at a medium pace should be ample.
- Next, go through the general ranges of motion for cervical spine (more commonly known as the neck). This means looking down at the ground, then up at the sky, look over your left then right shoulders, and finish by trying to place your left ear on your left shoulder, and then repeat on the right. Each of these stretches should be held for 10-15 seconds and the whole cycle should be repeated a total of 3 times. Gardening puts a lot of strain of the neck so it’s imperative to protect it!
- The same ranges of motion can be repeated for the lumbar spine (known as the low back). Start by standing with feet shoulder width apart then lean forward at the waist attempting to reach your hands to the ground, then place your hands on your hips and extend the back backwards, come back to neutral with your hands still on your hips swivel at the waist left then right, lastly extend your right arm overhead and bend to your left, switch arms, and repeat on the right. Again, hold stretches 10-15 seconds, and repeat process 3 times.
- To warm up your quadriceps (front of your thigh), place your left arm against on something for stability, use your right arm to grab the left ankle behind your buttocks. Hold for 15 seconds and then repeat on the opposite side.
- For your hamstrings (back of your thigh), sit flat with your legs extended out in front of you and bend at the waist attempting to grab your ankles on both sides. This only needs to be done once, for a period of you guessed it—15 seconds.
- Your shoulders can be warmed with shrug circles performed 10 times going in a forward motion, then repeated going backwards. Arms should be hanging by your sides. Then wrap your arms around you in a self bear hug, and swivel to the left and then right.
- Finally warm up the wrists that will be major players in the gardening game. Start by extending your left arm out with your left palm extended in the “stop position”. Use your right hand to pull back on the fingers gently. Hold 15 seconds, and repeat process with the wrist flexed down and the palm towards you. After 15 seconds, repeat both stretches on the right.
- When gardening, always keep a neutral spine which means your back in a straight line where possible! Avoid extreme flexion (forward bending) and extension (backward bending). Always bend and lift with the knees and a straight spine.
- If it’s too heavy, break it into multiple trips or loads! Keep heavy loads close to your chest!
- If any of these fail you, remember we are here to help!
Call us at 905-845-2291 for an appointment to get you ready plant and rake without the ache!