Being Fit for Gardening
You might not have thought to warm up before gardening, but you should. A warm-up gets you ready for all the moves you do in your garden. Stacy Walters, a registered kinesiotherapist, can help you enjoy your garden and prevent injury.
To prevent muscle injury, perform a five-minute warm-up. Just walk to the mailbox, check the garden beds, do some arm circles, fill the bird feeder or walk the dog. Then do a stretch or two.To stretch the hamstrings, place one heel on the ground and gently lean forward. Hold 20 seconds and switch sides.
Gardening is challenging, but is not as stressful on the body as high-impact exercises like jogging or aerobics.Think of gardening as cross-training for fitness buffs, and exercise for everyone.To stretch the chest, shoulders and biceps, clasp hands behind the back with palms facing in. Keep the chest and shoulders open and lift arms. Hold for a minute.
For a gentle wrist stretch, lift the arm shoulder-level high and aim fingers upward. Using your other hand, apply even pressure to the palm and gently push fingers upward to stretch the bottom of the forearm.
To stretch the quadriceps, wrap a towel around one ankle, bend your knee, and hold your ankle up with the towel. Hold for 20 seconds and switch sides.
According to the American Academy of Family Physicians, if you have outdoor allergies, you should avoid outdoor activities on dry, windy days, and shower after you return indoors to wash allergens off your hair and skin.