Health Tips - April

health tip

Safe Yard Cleanup and Gardening

Spring is here, and many flowers are already in bloom. While you're raking, mowing, and preparing your flower beds and gardens this spring, keep the following tips in mind so you stay safe and avoid injury.

Use sunscreen. Apply sunscreen with an SPF of 15 or greater before you go out, and reapply as necessary according to package directions.

Warm up. Take a 10-minute walk and stretch your upper and lower back, neck, arms, and legs before you begin.

Take it easy. Don't try to get the entire lawn, garden, and all of the blower beds in shape in one afternoon. Be mindful of how your body feels and take a break if you need a rest.

Use a properly-sized rake that matches your height and strength.

Wear gloves and proper shoes. Gloves can help prevent blisters, and sturdy shoes that have skid-resistant soles can prevent slips, falls, and foot injuries.

Use proper body positions. Keep one foot on the ground to give your back stability, rather than kneeling on both knees at once, and use knee pads or a pillow to absorb some of the pressure. Change positions frequently to avoid stiffness and cramping. Bend at your knees and lift with your back.

Roll with it. Use a wheelbarrow or garden cart to move heavy tools, pots, and equipment.

Be safe with equipment. If you're using a leaf mulcher or wood shipper, be sure to take appropriate safety measures.

Stay hydrated. Your body needs plenty of fluids, even in cooler weather.

Cool down. End your session with a short walk or light stretching, then take a warm bath or shower to help prevent next-day soreness.

If you experience pain or injury, contact your physical therapist right away. He or she can advise you on a proper course of treatment to get you pack in the garden safely.

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