The phys­i­cal­ity of gar­den work ... any time of year

The Telegram (St. John’s) - Home Buyers' Guide - - COMMERCIAL / METRO REGION -

Us­ing the right moves can go a long way to en­abling you to plant and rake with­out the ache. Po­si­tion­ing your body cor­rectly re­duces the strain on mus­cles and joints. So use these tips to en­joy the gar­den­ing sea­son from be­gin­ning to end.

• Al­ter­nate your tasks. Switch be­tween heavy chores such as dig­ging and lighter, less phys­i­cally de­mand­ing tasks such as plant­ing.

• Do the ʻ scis­sors ʼ when you rake. Stand with one leg for­ward and one leg back when you rake. Switch legs and hands ev­ery few min­utes.

• Kneel to plant and weed. Con­stant bending can put strain on your back, neck and leg mus­cles and joints, so kneel­ing is rec­om­mended. Use kneepads or a kneel­ing mat ( with han­dles) to min­i­mize the amount of bending re­quired, and to make kneel­ing more com­fort­able. Keep your back straight.

• Change po­si­tions fre­quently. Make a point of chang­ing po­si­tion ev­ery 10 to 15 min­utes. Move from kneel­ing to stand­ing, from plant­ing to dig­ging.

• Pace Your­self. A min­i­mum of three brief breaks each hour is rec­om­mended. Take a few mo­ments to move around, stretch your mus­cles, have a drink or sim­ply sit and re­lax. Spread the work over sev­eral days - you will still achieve the same great re­sults.

For more in­for­ma­tion about the Plant and Rake Gar­den­ing Pro­gram visit the public ed­u­ca­tion pro­grams and ma­te­rial sec­tion of the On­tario Chi­ro­prac­tic As­so­ci­a­tion Web site at www. chi­ro­prac­tic. on. ca

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