The first signs of the leaves turning from green to golden brown, the shortening daylight hours and the beginnings of a chill in the air all signal that autumn is indeed beginning to arrive. In fact the The Autumn Equinox (the first day of autumn), has just passed us by three days, officially bringing us into the season. With all the changes this brings to our surroundings this can often mean a change to the tasks and errands in and around the house and garden. Bearing this in mind this weeks blog post is dedicated to advice for autumn related tasks in the garden.
Gardening can be an excellent form of exercise when undertaken well. Living in a time when the manual nature of many of the house hold chores has been reduced by technological innovation can mean less stimulus for our bodies to move and keep strong- key factors in maintaining a healthy back. Including tasks of a manual nature can be a good way to increase weekly activity.
Important factors for treating your back well in the garden include being aware of posture and technique, and being aware of how your back is finding the total amount of work or time spent on a particular task.
Getting more specific the British Chiropractic association has some top tips for gardening during the autumn season.
– Don’t wear clothes that are tight or could constrict your movement.
– Gardening is like any other exercise; you need to warm up first. Don’t go straight into heavy garden work; start off with lighter jobs as this will lessen the chance of muscle strain.
– Get as close as possible to the things you are pruning and avoid overstretching to reach the area you are dealing with.
– Invest in some long handled secateurs to reach plants and bushes that are beyond normal reach.
– Ratchet secateurs are a great alternative for those with repetitive strain or arthritic issues at the hands and wrists
Using the rake
– Keep your body in line with the rake and don’t over stretch by leaning too far forward or dragging your arms too far behind. Use short, precise movements. When going to pick the leaf litter up, bend both knees and keep your back straight.
Take a break
– Vary your activity by spending no more than 20-30 minutes on any one thing and make sure you take regular breaks.
– A specialist garden trolley might be worth investing in to move pots around to protect them from the cold weather as well as being great for carting heavy bags of compost around. “
Video- BCA’s mind your posture gardening