LifestylePreventativePain-free gardening tips

Pain-free gardening tips

Planting your flower bed doesn’t have to be a pain

By Lisa Davis

lisa davis flower 1Spring is here, and that means blooming flowers, budding trees, and the beginning of this year’s gardening season. But planting your flower bed doesn’t have to be a pain. If you’re a green thumb who has arthritis or knee pain, for example, you can still engage in an activity you love, as well as all the bending, kneeling, and lifting involved.

To help guide you in avoiding and reducing aches and pains this planting season, we spoke with gardening expert and author Melinda Myers, who had these simple tips for pain-free time in your green space:

Vertical gardening: Grow plants on a blank wall, fence, or post. Height makes maintenance easier and creates visual interest.

Choose your tools wisely: Look for ergonomic grips, long-handled tools, and ratcheted tools to help keep your posture upright, provide more power, and reduce stress. (We love Radius ergonomic gardening tools). Its trowels, weeders, transplanters, and cultivators come with comfortable grips and specially designed blades that make it easy to toil in the soil.)

Divide and conquer: Split up heavy loads into small amounts. Use a wagon, wheelbarrow, or sled to more easily move supplies around the garden.

Take a breather: Work five-minute breaks in your gardening schedule to lower your likelihood of injury, and never garden for longer than 20 to 30 minutes at a stretch. Do additional stretches or warm-ups if you feel stiff or cold. (And wear a hat, drink plenty of water, and avoid midday sun in the summer.)

Keep tools sharp: Dull tools add effort and strain, and can lead to injury. Get your local store to file trowels, shears, and even shovels.

Be in the know: Check out Omron’s Great Garden Makeover Sweepstakes. Enter before June 22 for a chance to win $5,000 for your dream garden, plus a one-hour free consultation with Melinda Myers. Additional prize packs will be given away weekly, which include Melinda’s Garden Moments DVD and Omron’s electroTHERAPY Pain Relief unit, which uses transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation to deliver gentle, massage-like pulses for targeted relief.

Embedded photo courtesy of Lisa Davis.

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