Friday March 11, 2016
Ahh, Spring, the time for rejuvenation of all kinds. After the winter and the frosts it's time to clean up the yard, plant beautiful flowers and soak up the sunshine in comfortable temperatures. Before you dig in, here are some tips to make it easier on you.
While the beautiful weather can motivate us to get off the couch and on to some of those outdoor projects, it's important to remember that 8 hours in the yard pulling weeds, shoveling, planting or painting can take their toll on your body.
Remember these tips:
1. Be smart before you start. Make time to eat a good meal for energy. Hydrate before heading out (of course you'll want to drink water during and after your project too.) Make your work more enjoyable and easier on your body - stretch before you start to prepare your body for the demand you'll be making on it. You'll be more comfortable during and after. Click here for these easy gardening stretches.
2. You are NOT a mule. Use tools that absorb the bulk of the weight of your work. Use a wheelbarrow for carrying bags of mulch or moving yard debris, use the right size tools for the job you're doing to save shoulders, arms and hands, make sure your gloves are the correct size and are in good shape to protect your hands.
3. Be aware of body position while working. Is there a way to support yourself better? Can you sit or kneel on a pad pulling weeds or use a hula-hoe and stand up straight? If pruning above your head will take a long time, can you use a ladder so that you are pruning directly in front of you or below shoulder height to save your neck?
4. Take frequent mini breaks to rehydrate, stretch and enjoy the moment. Hydration and easier movement work together OR their opposites will. Dehydration not only affects the mind, it impacts the body's tissue fluidity and ability to flush toxins. Drink some water, take a minute to roll your neck or stretch your back, take in a deep breath and appreciate the peace of being outdoors.
5. Remember your friend Epsom Salts. For sore muscles, you can't beat a warm Epsom salt bath. Be sure to use 2 cups per bath to get the best results in soothing aching muscles.
6. If Spring pollen dampens your fun, look back at my 2/26/16 post on the neti pot to flush it and the irritation out.
To your great health and well-being,