That time of year again, the weather (hopefully) begins to improve and we venture outdoors to the garden.  This instigates promises of clearing the garden and returning it to the glory it showed last summer.  Then the first causalities of this vigorous effort turn up at our door.  To avoid joining the walking wounded there are a few simple steps to make gardening less taxing.  Warm up before you begin with a 10 minute walk followed by some stretches for your upper and lower back, neck, arms, and legs.

  1. Break work into smaller more manageable chunks
  2. Get help for the bigger jobs-if you think it will be difficult to lift, get help!
  3. Use wheelbarrows for transporting
  4. Vary jobs, alternate between tasks so that you are changing your position frequently
  5. Use tools the right size, if you are leaning to the handle of your brush/shovel its too small for you
  6. Kneel for jobs at a lower level-like planting or weeding
  7. Use worktops at elbow height where possible if planting containers etc
  8. Take breaks-stand up, put your hands in the small of your back and arch your back backwards for a few seconds every 15 – 30 minutes
  9. Avoid stooping or bending, if you do have to lift bend you knees hold the object close in to you, tighten your stomach muscles and keep your spine straight


However good the weather, and however bad the forecast don’t try and do it all today especially with heavy tasks like digging. Instead pace yourself, set yourself a maximum time that you are going to do an activity for and don’t overdo it.  Enjoy!