Arrow Physical Therapy & Rehabilitation in Woodbridge urges you to be cautious when getting your garden going again

gardening tips woodbridge nj

For some of you, the top spot on your list may be a long-anticipated return to your garden. After patiently waiting through a cold and dormant winter, you may be eager to get dirty again as you revive your garden. At Arrow Physical Therapy & Rehabilitation in Woodbridge, to those of you who fall into this category, we understand your excitement but urge you to be cautious during this time.
As we make our way towards the end of March and spring opens up, it’s common to shift our gaze outside and begin thinking about all the things we’ve been unable to do for the past few months of winter. The cold weather can really be a hindrance to some of the activities we love, and as the temperatures continue to rise over the next few weeks, we can finally start getting back to these outdoor interests without having to layer up.

Although this month has been mild for most part and there have been some truly nice days on occasion, unfortunately, there’s still a strong chance that your soil may be too hard. Not only can this mean extra work for you in trying to get it soft enough to utilize, but it can also be dangerous and lead to an injury if you’re not careful. If your soil is still too hard and you try to plant in it, you may be putting yourself at a risk for injuring your hand or wrist, and this risk can be even higher if you’re not using the proper tools.

This is why we believe it’s important to hold off on gardening for now until you know you soil is soft enough, or if you have the proper tools and know the proper techniques to garden in harder soil. Once the time comes to return to your garden in full, there are other factors at work that can lead to injury, and we encourage you to follow these additional precautions to reduce your risk at that time:

  • Stretch both before and after gardening, when muscles are in the cool-down phase, and ice any sore areas before going to bed
  • Vary your gardening tasks throughout the session so as not to keep repeating the same one for too long, or break it up into smaller tasks
  • Use a foam or gel kneel pad and try alternate kneeling on each knee
  • When you sit for jobs at ground level, don’t sit cross-legged; flex your body forward and maintain good posture, or use a small chair or stool
  • Try to only use pruners, shovels rakes and other gardening tools that are ergonomically designed with cushioned grips, and avoid tool shortcuts
  • If possible, raise your beds and container platforms to allow you to tend to them at close-to-standing height, which will eliminate bending over
  • Strengthening exercises can also help prevent the knees and back from the stresses and strain from gardening

Here at Arrow Physical Therapy & Rehabilitation in Woodbridge, Somerville, Union and Edison, NJ, we can relate to your eagerness for spring and all that it brings, but we also want you to be able to enjoy it without an injury. Follow these tips, and if you have any additional questions, call us at 732-388-4184 to schedule an appointment.

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