30 August 2011
Should Gardening be an Olympic Sport?
""Healthy living" "
By: Nicholas Newman
It is less than one year to the London Olympics in 2012. Summer is nearly over, yet there is much still to do in
the garden, including cutting the lawn and hedges, weeding and pruning the bushes.
Much of this gardening will include strenuous physical activities, that an Olympic sports person would be familiar
with. In a recent survey, 80% of Ontario chiropractors reported that working in the garden was one of the most
common sources of neck and back pain.
To help you enjoy the fruits of your labour, as you prepare the garden for winter, it's recommend you keep the
following tips in mind:
Always conduct stretching and loosening exercises to warm up your body before you start work on the gardening. Did
you know light to moderate gardening can burn between 300 to 400 calories an hour, compared to the 40 calories an
hour while sitting quietly.
Remember to take the time to prepare your body for activity, always warm-up and cool down your muscles.
Add a short walk and you will have topped off your routine with overall conditioning. Now you are ready for your
Use good technique while lifting. Keep the load close to your body, your back straight and bend your knees while
picking up and putting down the load. Avoid twisting, and get a friend to give a hand with heavy, awkward
Use the right tools and moves. The right moves can reduce the strain on your body; alternate your tasks, kneel to
plant and weed, change positions frequently and most importantly.
Moving correctly and using the right tools go hand-in-hand. Work with ease in your garden; always make sure that
tools are a comfortable weight and size for you.
There are many ergonomically designed tools, which are lightweight with long padded handles, and spring action
mechanisms, which can reduce strain and effort.
Once you have completed a gold medal performance, take a break! Get-up, move around, alternate tasks, repeat your
stretch routine or sit back, relax and have a cool drink.
Try not to overexert yourself, and take three brief breaks at least once every hour. Give yourself a break! Your
back will thank you!
If you have back or muscle pain that lasts more than 48-hours without improvement, visit a doctor or
Chiropractors play an important role in providing preventative education and early detection of spinal problems, as
well as providing expert care for back, muscle, joint pain and injury.
Select ergonomically designed tools, with padded handles and spring action. Make sure the size and weight are right
for you. In addition, always choose the proper tool for the job.
Here are a few more tips to lighten your load:
• A hose is easier to manage than a watering can
• A good wheelbarrow, this makes moving heavier loads easier
• A wheelbarrow that is lightweight and has two wheels is a good idea
• Separate a larger load into several small ones
• Select comfortable, thick soled, supportive shoes
• Cover up with a wide-brimmed hat, wear gloves and sunscreen
• Use ergonomically designed, long handled, lightweight tools
For more information on how to avoid the hazards of gardening, manage and treat back pain, contact your local
chiropractor or doctor for advice
Or you could employ a professional to do the job for you like