Spring is finally here! The birds are chirping and the sun is shining, which means it’s time to get down and dirty in your garden. Unfortunately, all of that bending, kneeling, lifting and digging can lead to injuries, even ones that most people have never heard of, like weeder’s wrist and pruner’s neck. To prevent these and other injuries, here are some tips every gardener can benefit from:

  1. Warm Up – It may sound silly, but throwing yourself into any physical hobby – including gardening – after months of decreased activity can be dangerous. Something as simple as going for a walk beforehand or light stretching can reduce your risk of injury.
  2. Lift With Your Legs – Make sure when lifting things like a bag of soil or tools, the energy comes from your legs and not your back. Using your back to lift can cause muscle soreness in your lower back or shoulders. Avoiding simultaneous lifting and twisting and keeping heavier items close to your body can also help to decrease the risk of injury. Watch this quick video to see the proper way to lift!
  3. Protect Your Body – Using kneelers or knee pads when working on the ground protects your knees from injury and unnecessary stress. Opting for long-handled tools limits the amount of bending you may have to do, therefore reducing the likelihood of any back injury.
  4. Know Your Limits – Keep in mind the amount of weight or activity your body can handle. Using a wheelbarrow to do the heavy lifting or taking frequent trips and carrying smaller amounts of items from one place to another greatly reduces the amount of stress on your bones and muscles.