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Spring is in the air and the garden is calling you.

Whether you think of it as a joy or a chore, the following tips will help keep your body healthy while gardening.

  • Before doing extensive yard work, it is a good idea to warm up by taking a 15 minute walk or doing another form of cardio.
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  • Vary tasks every half hour so that you don’t do the same task for too long. Setting a timer every half hour will help you remember.
  • When pruning, make sure the plant is directly in front of you to avoid over reaching.
  • Try to avoid kneeling and use a garden stool instead.
  • If you must kneel, use a padded kneeler.
  • Avoid twisting while shoveling.
  • Use good form, bend with your knees rather than bending forward with your back.
  • Take stretch breaks every 15-30 minutes.
  • When possible, use tools which allow you to stand while using them.
  • Don’t fill the wheelbarrow too full.
  • Use a wagon for transporting.
  • Use manageable containers which are not too large for harvest.
  • Keep your tools in good shape.
  • Choose tools with soft handles which fit your grip. You can also add foam rubber or grip tape to add padding to hard handles.
  • Consider raised beds and containers. They require less bending  than plants which are in the ground.
  • Wear gloves when handling soil. Baseball batting gloves also work.
  • Wear safety glasses when using power tools.
  • Create a hip-waist high surface to use to replant plants to reduce bending

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