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Summer Yardword and Gardening Tips

Summer has finally arrived in Minnesota, and we are all excited to begin our summer yardwork and gardening projects. Yardwork and gardening tasks can present both postural and physical demands that our bodies have not endured in several months. As we dust off our shovels and rakes and begin planning our summer landscaping, it is important to be mindful of strategies and techniques to prevent and reduce normal expected soreness.  

  • Complete some stretching or an active warm-up, such as a brisk walk, prior to beginning your yardwork or gardening tasks
  • Use good body mechanics when lifting pots, rocks, or bags of soil/mulch:
    • Use a wide base of support
    • Engage your core and glutes
    • Keep items close to your body
    • Avoid twisting
    • Bend at the hips, not the waist
    • Ask for help with heavy or awkward items
  • Change positions frequently to avoid prolonged postures or overuse. Consider some of the following positions to give your body some variety:
    • Kneeling
    • Working on all fours
    • Sitting on a gardening stool
    • Leaning over a gardening stool with your trunk supported
    • Sitting cross legged
    • Squatting
  • Take rest breaks and pace yourself
  • Stay hydrated
  • Wear supportive footwear
  • Use a wagon or wheelbarrow to push items rather than carry them
  • Focus on using your core, legs, and upper body to support your back while mowing
  • Try using tools in both hands
  • Stretch upon completion of your tasks to promote muscle recovery
  • Ice after your yardwork tasks, even if you are not particularly sore that day. Icing will help reduce normal muscle soreness that typically develops within 24-48 hrs