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Dos & Don'ts of Gardening and Yard Work

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1. If the weather is hot, try to restrict your strenuous outdoor activities to the coolest hours of the day.
2. Know your strengths and limitations. Don’t over-exert.
3. Avoid beverages that can be dehydrating.
4. Avoid bending over repeatedly while standing upright when performing ground level work like weeding. Get down closer to the task by kneeling or sitting on the ground or a garden bench.
5. Keep your back protected when you stand up from a sitting or crouched position. Rise up by straightening your legs at the knees, not by lifting your torso at the waist.
6. Lift dirt and plants by letting your arms, legs and thighs carry the load: Bend and straighten at the knees instead of the back and hips. Lift the load closer to the body’s torso and center of gravity. Also handle smaller loads.
7. Use long handled tools to give you leverage and help you avoid having to stoop while raking, digging, pushing or mowing.
8. Switch hands frequently when doing prolonged raking, hoeing or digging. Repetitive motion on one side can bring on progressively serious joint imbalances and may produce postural misalignment and pain.
9. Don’t work too long in one position. This can reduce circulation, restrict mobility and promote strain injuries.
10. Don’t overexpose yourself to long periods in the sun. Utilize protective measures for your head and skin, drink plenty of fluids and take frequent breaks.

 

*Information provided by the Michigan Chiropractic Association, the International Chiropractic Association and the American Red Cross

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