Posted by: Dr. Justin Zellweger |

Arrowhead Clinic Bluffton Gives 7 Tips for Healthy Gardeners

 Grow your garden!

Article Table of Contents

Dig In!

Knee Pads

Lift with Your Legs

Take Breaks


Use Tools Correctly

Handle Chemicals Safely

Listen to Your Pain

Dig In!

Spring has officially sprung.

The weather is getting warmer, and the plants are getting greener.

It is a time to celebrate the renewal of life after a long and cold winter.

However, this year the celebration of life seems to be especially poignant.

After several months of combatting Covid-19, we have begun to appreciate the simple gift of life in all of its forms.

We are just barely beginning to see the light at the end of the tunnel, even though we have a long way to go still.

Thankfully, there are ways in which we are able to still appreciate and celebrate life.

You could spend a day on the coast or maybe enjoy a brief walk in Pritchard Park.

However, a simple way to do this is to take up the ancient art of gardening.

Gardening does not sound like a particularly health hazardous activity.

However, if the conditions are just wrong enough, certain aspects of gardening could prove to be harmful or in some severe cases deadly.

Arrowhead Clinic Bluffton wants you to enjoy your time in nature to the fullest.

That is why we have provided this list of seven safety tips for an enjoyable gardening experience.

Support your knees.

1. Knee Pads

Knee pads are a simple tool that one can utilize to minimize damage on one's knees while they are gardening.

Gardening is an activity that oftentimes requires an extensive time kneeling in the dirt.

This only makes sense because that is where plants grow.

However, when doing this, you are placing a tremendous amount of strain upon your knees.

This can lead to further conditions much worse than just a little bit of an ache.

However, a simple way to combat this deterioration is by purchasing a knee pad.

These can vary as widely as a more cushioned variation of skater pad to a portable large rectangular piece of foam.

Regardless of the cushioning you choose, it is important to take care of your knees.

Lift with your legs.

2. Lift with Your Legs

Gardening is a vary diverse hobby.

It can be as simple as maintaining a window box outside of ones apartment, or to devoting an entire patch of yard to the growth of plants.

However, regardless of scale there will be some required lifting at some point.

From lugging the window box over to the window to dragging large ceramic pots around your property.

It is imperative that you carry these items with proper posture.

Never ever lift with your back, only with your knees.

If you lift with your back, you are opening up the potential to a nasty injury.

It is much safer to lift with ones knees.

That is another reason why it is important to take care of ones knees, as referenced in the previous point.

Take a break.

3. Take Breaks

As previously mentioned, gardening requires a lot of bending over into the dirt.

We have already discussed the importance of taking good care of your knees.

However, your knees are not the only part of your body that is undergoing wear and tear.

Your back is also under a considerable amount of strain as you spend a prolonged period of time hunched over into the dirt.

The solution for this problem is even simpler than the acquisition of padding for your knees.

All you have to do is stand up and take the occasional break.

This will allow your spine to straighten and keep everything communicating and functioning as best as possible.

Drink enough water to stay healthy.

4. Hydration

This danger is far more insidious and can sneak up on a person easily.

Dehydration can lead to a great number of various harmful health problems.

We all know how hot the sun can get in this part of Georgia, if you are not careful you can potentially develop heat stroke and pass out.

A simple way to combat this hazard is by consistently drinking a lot of water.

Water is essential for human life.

If you forgo drinking the appropriate amount that you need, you can potentially get very sick.

A good recommendation is eight glasses of water a day for optimum health.

However, if you are spending a significant amount of time outside in the heat, you should be drinking even more.

A cool tall glass of water is a small price to pay for maintaining your health on a hot day.

Be careful when using tools.

5. Use Tools Correctly

Gardening requires the use of various tools in order to get the desired outcome.

These tools can be as simple as spades and a rake, and as complex as a weed wacker and a lawn mower.

However, regardless of the tools it is important that they are handled correctly and respected.

Never leave power tools on unattended, and keep your extremities away from them.

If you are using sharp tools, be sure to put them in a safe place when not in use.

Even if you just put them down on the ground for a moment in between use, do not leave the point ends up.

If the worse would happen and you fell on them,  you could very potentially end up stabbing yourself and maybe even die.

It’s all about respect. Respect your tools, and they will serve you well.

Be careful when using chemicals.

6. Handle Chemicals Safely

Thankfully, science has been producing many alternatives for fertilizers and plant care.

However, some people still use such chemicals in their garden.

It is important if any fumes are produced that one does not breathe them in or allow them to stay for too long on ones skin.

It is best to wear a mask and gloves when handling any sort of fertilizer.

After you have finished, remove your safety gear and be sure to wash your hands off with soap and warm water.

As effective as fertilizer is, you don’t want any form of it on your body for too long.

Talk to your doctor if you are experiencing pain.

7. Listen to Your Pain

We all like to think of ourselves as tough people.

If we have an ache or a pain, many of us like to power through it.

Even if it is only to convince ourselves.

This is an effective way to cause yourself even more pain.

If you find that you are hurting consistently while you are out gardening, please stop and seek medical attention.

It isn’t worth it and in some cases can lead to potentially serious injury.

If you do find that you have developed consistent pain while you are out working in your garden, come pay us a visit at Arrowhead Clinic Bluffton.

We will come along side of you to help get you back into the best possible shape so you can keep enjoying and cultivating your own portion of natures bounty.



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