Spring is here in the northeastern US. While planting of gardens is still over a month away many people will be getting the bug to get their yards and gardens ready. Many of us are excited to be able to get outside after having had a long, cold, snowy, dark winter. However, we should exercise some caution as we take up our outdoor activities. This article will discuss precautions we can practice to enjoy a healthy, happy start to our out-of-the-house ventures.
As a practicing chiropractor of over 36 years, I try to let my patients know that many of the yard and garden tasks they will undertake require the use of muscles and joints that haven’t been used for several months. For instance, a lot of twigs and branches from surrounding trees have fallen in the yard. It will require raking and bending at the waist and knees to pick up and remove these objects. Rather than clean the entire yard all at once and risk injuring the lower back, it would be more prudent to spread the work over several days and pace our activity so as to not overtax ourselves.
Similarly, many will be rushing to the garden centers to pick up bags of mulch to spread throughout the yard. Something to consider is that there are varying sizes of mulch bags. It is better to purchase more smaller bags than to try and carry fewer, heavier ones. Also, many of the garden stores will load bags into your car for you, if you request, thus saving your back and muscles unnecessary strain.
If you choose to have the mulch delivered to your yard you do save yourself a trip to the store, but you will be responsible for spreading the mulch to the appropriate areas. Again, it is better to take several days, utilizing shorter sessions to be safe. Better yet why not hire a landscaping person to take on especially heavy work, leaving lighter, less taxing work for yourself.
In addition, be careful when cleaning brush, weeds and wooden areas for poison ivy and poison oak. It’s no fun to have to spend days or weeks applying repeated applications of calamine lotion for skin sensitivities.
I always have to remind myself that the sun gets much stronger at this time of year. I pull out my bottles of sunscreen from the closet anytime I expect to be outside for more than a few minutes. I also will put a hat on for further sun protection.
We’re all looking forward to spending more time outdoors. It’s wonderful for our mental and physical health. Lift up your spirits, but not too much else!
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