You may recall that awhile ago, I wrote a post about safety around the garden. I wanted to follow it up with a brief post about injury prevention. I see a personal trainer at the gym for an hour every week, primarily to help me with my weight loss journey. I’m also very prone to injuries, sometimes arising from the gym and running but more commonly from gardening activity because I labour so intensively and for such long periods of time, especially in spring. I thought PT would be a good idea so I could address the cause of the issues, as physio only treats the actual injury. As I have mentioned previously, I suffer from neck problems stemming from a tight trapezius and sore wrists stemming from tightness in the forearms. According to my physio Anthony at Flex Physio in Papatoetoe, both of these injuries can be attributed to gardening rather than the gym or running. Another problem I suffer from is that one of my shoulders sits lower than the other, something that was picked up by a chiropractor that I saw for awhile and also Alice, my personal trainer. We have been doing some exercises, including the farmer’s walk (walking with two heavy kettle bells in each hand, facing outwards) to try and rectify this problem.
At my last training session on Wednesday, Alice had a couple of suggestions on how to improve my posture while gardening to minimise injuries. I thought I would share them as they may be useful to others.
1. Stand up every 15 minutes or so after bending over while carrying out activities such as weeding, to avoid neck and back injury
2. Avoid carrying a weight in just one hand. It is better to carry weights evenly so it is distributed on both sides. If carrying compost or potting mix, I now make sure I fill two buckets and carry one in each hand. When I was liquid feeding the garden on Thursday, I filled two 9 L watering cans and carried them both to the area where I was working, rather than just using one can.