8 Tips for Pain-Free Gardening
Spring is finally here! We welcome it with open arms, as we had a pretty a brutal winter here in Michigan. We can't wait to dig! The gardening rule of thumb (here in MI) is to NOT plant until after Mother's Day! But, Mother's Day has passed and warm temperatures are promised throughout the month. So, it’s time to dig out the gardening tools and dig up the garden.
Gardening is great for the soul, but can be hard on the body—it's hard (but rewarding) work! For some of us, the fun in gardening doesn't come as easy when feet, back, knee, and joint pain starts to take over. Luckily, we’ve rounded up these 8 simple tips to make gardening this spring as enjoyable and comfortable as possible!
1. Use a mat
We've got a mat for that - WellnessMats CompanionMat, of course! The perfect companion for the garden! Easily portable, you can carry it with you to every corner of your garden and garden in utter comfort! Built with the same ergonomic technology that makes WellnessMats unique, the CompanionMat is small enough to transport and large enough to do the job. Highly versatile in design, the CompanionMat offers comfort and relief whether you sit, stand, or kneel. At 3/4″ thick, WellnessMats provide just the right amount of padding without compromising stability. Plus, CompanionMat is highly durable and a cinch to clean (we mean it - you can't harm this thing!) with a 7-year warranty, it is built to withstand both indoor and outdoor use. Your knees won’t feel a thing!
2. Try an elevated garden
If you’re tired of bending over backwards for your garden, make your garden bend over backwards for you! Experiment with elevated gardens by way of raised garden beds or by suspending flower pots on ropes or secured along a wall. This way, you can enjoy gardening while standing rather than kneeling. Your posture will thank you!
3. Rotate Tasks
Gardening is a lot of work—there is always a different task that needs to be done. Don’t spend more than 15 or 20 minutes doing the same fine motor skill. Instead, rotate tasks between plants or areas of your garden so you’re in constant motion, avoiding fatigue, muscle and joint pains.
4. Curved Handles
Invest in ergonomic tools. Watch out for tools that claim to be ergonomic, but actually aren’t. Use what is comfortable for you, not what's comfortable according to the label. Curved handles are especially comfortable because they lessen strain and stress on the muscles in your hands and arms. For maximum comfort, we recommend the Radius Ergonomic Garden Hand Tools available on plowhearth.com.
5. Sharpen tools
Don’t give yourself extra work by using dull tools! Be sure to sharpen your tools regularly to save on energy. You'll be presently surprised to find out how much of a difference tool sharpening can make.
6. Use a wagon or wheelbarrow
Watering cans, shovels, pots, and plants can be heavy! Save yourself from lifting and carrying heavy objects by using a wheel barrel or wagon to transport objects across your garden instead.
7. Wear gloves
Find a pair of gloves that offer padding and support without compromising your grip. Most importantly–find a pair that is comfortable!
8. Do warm-up stretches
If you’re not used to kneeling or bending for prolonged periods of time, practice 5 minute warm up stretches just before and after your gardening session. This will help prep your body and help avoid muscle soreness. Lower back exercises are especially helpful. And don't worry, we have a variety of floor mats for that, too!
Gardening is great for the mind and body but it should never be painful! If you suffer from aches and pains, consider a few tips mentioned above....and the get out there and get your hands dirty –and more importantly, have some fun in the sun!
If you have any gardening tips for the novice gardener, we’d love to hear!
Images courtesy of sharpercut.com, thegreenhead.com, www.telegraph.co.uk, todayshomeowner.com, bobvila.com, womanswork.com, sheknows.com