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Staying in the Green:

A Physiotherapy Guide to Safe Spring Labour

May is here and with the April showers we have had, the May flowers should be numerous this year. The snow is gone (finally!), the grass is turning green (yay!), all the beautiful buds are coming out on the trees and the perennials are pushing out of the ground. It’s an exciting time for us happy gardeners! For those that don’t love the gardening or yard work unfortunately it still needs doing and doing safely.

As we are coming out of hibernation from a very long winter, we may be feeling overzealous to get going on the tasks at hand. Now you may be feeling invincible – or maybe not - but however you are feeling, remember to pace yourself and take care of your body. You may feel like you can get the raking done all in one day… But your body may tell you otherwise the next day and even the day after that... Frequent rest breaks and spreading out the work over a few days is often a good idea for most.

Asking for help is another great idea! If you have teenage kids – get them to help! We all know how much they love yard work (well at least some of them don’t mind). Or maybe you have a friend or neighbour that would love to help – or perhaps you are the friend or neighbour that loves helping? Regardless, it’s often more fun to do things together!

While pacing and asking for help are two ideas to optimize this season, another thing to help is the numerous knee and back saving gardening equipment that are available. Some of these devices can significantly decrease stress on the back and the knees. This will be dependent on where you are finding discomfort. They may be worth checking out for the sake of protecting your joints and muscles.

And then there’s also getting your body prepped for the work. The right stretches or strengthening exercises can help both avoid or recover from injury during this beautiful time of year. If you are finding yourself in this hole, ask your local physiotherapist for advice in this area. They would love to help!

Happy May!


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