5 Tips to Prevent Gardening Pains and Strains

Simple protective measures can help keep minor injuries from budding.

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- Posted on Jun 1, 2020

A woman gardening flowers outside.

This article is provided in collaboration with Arnicare

Digging in the dirt to grow your own flowers, herbs and vegetables can be one of life’s great joys. Gardening is a fun creative endeavor and an opportunity to exercise and soak up nature. But bending, pulling and lifting can easily lead to physical strain on your back, arms and legs, if you’re not careful. Too much time in the sun can also cause dehydration and skin damage.

To protect yourself while gardening, consider these tips:

1. Stretch beforehand: Just as you would in advance of any sporting activity, warm up before you head out to weed, prune, trim or till.  

2. Shield Eyes and Hands: Wearing safety glasses and gloves can help protect you against exposure to any chemicals, pesticides or irritants. You can guard against cuts, scrapes and blisters by covering your hands with gloves.

3. Cover up: Avoid skin damage from too much sun exposure by wearing sunscreen and protective clothing.

4. Take breaks and drink water: Hydration is essential when you’re working outdoors. Make sure to sip water at frequent intervals. Give yourself rest breaks in a spot that’s shaded or cooler, particularly when temperatures climb.

5. Choose the right tools: Lightweight tools that are ergonomically designed for digging and weeding can be a big help. You can cut down on bending and reaching by using handle extenders. It’s also important to make sure tools are clean and sharp. Keeping them in top condition allows you to work more easily.

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