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Plant and Rake Without the Ache: Stretches for Gardening

Gardening is a great outdoor activity anyone can enjoy. But, like any other location in the home, the garden is also a place where injury can occur. These helpful tips will keep your back in check and your garden in bloom.

Warm Up Before you Start

Before you get going, warm up your muscles with a brisk 10-minute walk around the block or even on the spot. Swing your arms and lift your knees to enhance the benefits.

Stretches

Follow your warm up with these easy, low-impact stretches. Repeat each stretch five times. Relax and do not overextend when you stretch. Remember to take frequent stretch breaks while working in the yard.

Your Sides

  1. Extend your right arm over your head.
  2. Bend toward the left from the waist.
  3. Hold for 15 seconds and repeat on the other side.

Your Thighs

  1. Steady yourself against a tree, wall or railing.
  2. Bend your right knee and grasp the ankle with your left hand.
  3. Hold for 15 seconds and repeat with your left knee.

Your Back

  1. In a seated position, bend forward from the hips, keeping your head down.
  2. Touch your fingers to the ground.

Your Wrists

  1. Hold one arm out in front of you, palm down. Bend your wrist until the fingers point to the ground. Use your opposite hand to hold this position.
  2. Hold one arm in front of you and place your palm in the “stop” position. Use your opposite hand to hold this position.
  3. Place your hands in “prayer” position, and press your palms together.

Your Arms & Shoulders

  1. Let your arms hang loosely at your sides; rotate your shoulders back and forth.
  2. Hug yourself snugly and slowly rotate at the waist to the left and the right.

If you experience back pain that lasts more than a few days, consult a chiropractor for an evaluation. 

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