I recently moved into my grandfather’s house, a place filled with many childhood memories and a huge garden in the backyard.

My grandfather was an avid gardener, his green thumb evident in the lush, bountiful space he maintained.

Since being back here, I have had a strong urge to clean out the gardens and try my hand at growing vegetables. 

However, unlike him, I don’t have a green thumb. 

In fact, I struggle to keep plants alive, so this is a new skill set I’m developing.

My first few days of gardening were both physically taxing and discouraging. 

I ended each day with a sore neck, back, and shoulders, sunburned skin, and completely exhausted.

Taking multiple days to recover. 

I was telling our team about this in our last meeting and they mentioned that they hear similar things from our members all the time.

They gave me a few tips to stay happy, healthy, and stress-free in the garden.

I wanted to pass them along so you can also be happy, healthy, and stress-free in the garden!

1. Rotate Tasks Into Circuits

Just like your exercises in the gym, rotating gardening tasks can help prevent repetitive strain injuries. 

For example, spend 20 minutes weeding, then switch to planting for 20 minutes, followed by 20 minutes of pruning. 

This variety keeps your muscles from getting overworked in one area and keeps the garden process engaging. 

2. Fuel Your Body & Hydrate

Eat nutritious snacks to keep your energy up. Like fresh fruits, nuts, and whole grains can provide a quick energy boost.

Having a light snack before can help maintain stamina and prevent exhaustion. 

And don’t forget to stay hydrated – Drinking water frequently can prevent dehydration and help you maintain your energy levels.

Keep a water bottle nearby and sip it often.

3. When you’re picking things up, think of it like a squat! 

Just like in the gym, use proper squatting techniques when picking things up in the yard.

Bend at your knees and hips, keeping you back straight, and use your legs to lift rather than your back – engage those glutes! 

This method helps prevent lower back injuries and engages your leg muscles.

4. Take Breaks & Listen to Your Body

Gardening often leads to hours spent outside without realizing the time passing. So set a time to remind yourself to take regular breaks.

Pay attention to any signs of discomfort or pain. If something doesn’t feel right, stop and take a break. 

Ignoring pain can lead to more serious injuries. It’s better to pace yourself and enjoy the process rather than pushing through and regretting it later.

Gardening can be a fulfilling and therapeutic hobby when it doesn’t end in aches and pains. 

Following some of these tips can help make your experience safer and more enjoyable.

May your gardens be filled with vibrant flowers, bountiful harvest, and moments of peace and joy. 

Happy Gardening!

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