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Stretch Out Before Digging In

Don’t let gardening become a painful experience.  Warm up your muscles before you dig into gardening. 

Drink plenty of water and stretch before you start digging, raking, planting or enjoying other garden activities. Slow, easy bends can warm up muscles and help avoid strains.  And, don’t forget about your neck and shoulders.  Several repetitions of shoulder shrugs and neck stretches will relieve stress and tightness that can arise from digging, hoeing and other garden activities. 

Further avoid strain and injury with proper posture.  Your mother was right, standing straight and using your core muscles will help avoid injury.  Keep movements close to your body and hands in a neutral position to avoid strain and injury that often occurs with repetitive movements. 

Fortunately, tool manufacturers are introducing more and more ergonomic tools that properly position our body and increase our reach and strength, while avoiding strains and injury.  

And, when you are done, cool down, relax and enjoy the beauty of your garden.

A bit more information:  Exercise a bit of sun protection before going outdoors.  Cover exposed skin with sunscreen and replenish as needed throughout the day.  Consider wearing light weight long sleeved UV protective clothing.  Plus, add a hat and sunglasses to protect your face, neck and eyes. 

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