Last Tuesday the Garden Club had a presentation from local Physiotherapist Neil Bell on the Benefits of gardening.
Neil runs Physique Physiotherapy in Main Street, North Tamborine and had plenty of tips for us to improve our gardening experience and to avoid injuries when gardening
Why is Gardening So good for you?
- Gardening can reduce your risk of stroke,heart disease and other life threatening diseases.
- Gardening burns calories.
- Gardening decreases the likelihood of osteoporosis.
- Gardening is a stress buster.
- Being surrounded by flowers improves one’s health.
- Digging in the soil has actual health and ‘mood boosting’ benefits.
- Gardening may lower the risk of dementia.
- Eating your own, organically grown food – is there anything better?
Sounds Good so far, Then we heard how to make things easier for us
- When muscles are not strong enough to do the work asked of them, weight will be carried by bones. This results in increased wear and tear on our joint surfaces and increases the risk of developing arthritis and joint inflammation.
- Increasing muscle strength takes the weight off the bones, decreases the stress on our joints and helps to reduce the risk of falls. It is especially important to increase your core strength.
- It is important to get an individualised strengthening program developed especially for you. Make sure you either give us a call at Physique or contact one of the local exercise physiologists or personal trainers to get a program done up specifically for you.
- Once you get started, make sure you continue to do your exercises all year round and get it regularly updated as you get stronger.
- Warm Up
- You wouldn’t go for a jog or play a game of tennis without warming up. Gardening is a physical activity just like a game of basketball or a fitness routine.
- Warming up properly can help reduce soft tissue strain and pain.
- Warming a muscle or soft tissue by just 2 degrees makes it more flexible and improves its shock absorbing qualities. This can be accomplished by simply marching in place for a few minutes or going for a short walk before putting on your gardening gloves.
- Targeted stretches are also helpful. Stretch your arms, perform a few shoulder rolls, stretch your calves and get your back moving.
- Ergonomic Tips
- Keep your work close to you.
- Avoid keeping your neck extended (looking up) for periods longer then 5 to 10 minutes.
- If you are doing a lot of work looking down then take regular breaks and perform a few neck stretches.
- Work below shoulder height.
- If you must reach above shoulder height for extended periods, take frequent breaks.
- The best way to protect your shoulders is to be as strong as you possibly can through this area.
- Keep your wrists in line with your forearm when you are pushing or pulling.
This reduces strain but also will increase grip strength. You can lose up to 25% of your grip strength when your wrist is flexed or bent.
Look for tools that allow you to keep the wrist and forearm in line.