Lots of people love gardening.
I imagine they love the nurturing and bringing to life of a tiny shoot to something beautiful or sumptuous.
Or maybe it’s the solitude.
Or the head-space.
Or the quiet.
I think it’s about love.
The love of creation.
The love of beauty and colour.
The love of that head-space that makes them much nicer people to live with and so have much happier families and therefore bring a calming influence to society.
Who’d have thought you get all that from raising a tomato or a tulip.
Do You Dig It?
I know. The pun was wholly intended and more may follow. But digging, hoeing, forking and carrying 25kg bags of peat is part of the gardener’s lot.
And many don’t prepare for it, especially at the start of the season. After a sedentary winter where the heaviest thing they lifted was the Christmas Turkey, people put strains on parts of their body where their body has not had strains put upon it since closing up the garden last year.
They wrench their backs.
They pull their shoulders.
They scrunch their knees and twist their necks, all in the name of love.
But it need not be this way – here are a few tips from our clinical director Sam House:
• Watch out for hover mowers – that action “bent, rotated, loaded and repeated” is the worst combination for discs!
• Mowing Ridges (going along at, say 45°) overloads one side which is bad for discs but terrible for soft tissue
• Try not to do the same action for too long. Dig for a while, then mow, hoe, lunch, then some more digging
• Look after your knees with a kneeling pad, stool or trousers with pads in-built. Again, break it up with changes in activity – particularly upright such as hoeing
• Lifting and carrying – don’t overload, especially if one-sided loads
Of course we can expect to get stiff from intense gardening.
And this can be a good feeling.
That feeling that we know we’ve done some serious work.
For those of us in the “gardening endurers” category it is approaching sainthood and is deserving of proper post-gardening looking after and no thing delivers this better than a massage. And when I say massage I mean from a trained physio – 30 minutes of mechanical manipulation will ease the soreness in those muscles and it’s particularly effective on shoulders.
The Author, Richard Wilson, works as a Marketing Consultant with Physiofusion and is not a keen gardener, obviously.