By Jordan Galeles
Don’t let aches and pains keep you from cultivating the garden of your dreams. Anyone doing yardwork or gardening has probably experienced back or knee pain before. Thankfully, the aches and pains of gardening don’t have to outweigh the joy! With proper care and planning, you can reduce or eliminate your knee or back pain while gardening.
To ease the pain and improve the joy, we’ll cover the best ways to set yourself up for success:
- Plan ahead and understand your physical limits
- Remember the basics
- Consider kneeling or sitting aids
Plan Ahead and Listen to Your Body
Generally speaking, the body only has a certain tolerance for physical activity. It takes time to recover. Consider the work that needs to be done in your garden to help provide a framework for planning your body’s recovery time.
You could work for longer duration with low intensity or for a shorter duration with high intensity to help prevent knee or back pain. In either case, it’s important to listen to your body and allocate suitable time for rest and recuperation. Taking water breaks every so often will help your body rest, and also keep you hydrated!
When the body isn’t used to the activity being asked of it and put under unfamiliar stress, it’s going to respond accordingly. Start with smaller gardening projects and build up to bigger projects to minimize aches and pains. By building up tolerance to physical activity, your body will have time to acclimate to the larger gardening projects you have in mind.
Care for Your Body
It’s easy to underestimate the importance of the basics: hydration, nutrition, and exercise. These basics create the foundation for a quality gardening experience. A quality nutrition and strength training regimen will prepare your body for the demands of the garden. Take care of your body as well as you like to take care of your garden and you’ll not only reduce aches and pains, but also be full of energy to work in the garden!
Surfaces for Kneeling or Sitting
Sometimes the ground is just unforgiving when it comes to your knees and you need a little something more. Knee pads or small seats are always a good idea to provide a barrier between you and the ground.
As with any physical activity, the first step is knowing your goals and knowing your limitations. Gardening is no different. Planning your work and preparing your body for that work will go a long way to preventing and reducing aches and pains. Don’t forget to care for your body as well as you care for your garden to minimize aches and pains and increase energy. Lastly, consider surfaces like a kneeling pad, knee pads, or a small seat to decrease stress placed on your knees and back.