Tips for Healthy Autumn Gardening

Exercises for Seasonal Foot Pain
May 17, 2020
Exercises for Autumn Gardeners
September 28, 2020
As the weather is finally cooling down and the winds have picked up, I have spent time this weekend sweeping up the autumnal debris. The pesky squirrels added to the mess by pelting me with walnut shells (shame they weren't sharing). I thought I would share with you some tips for healthy gardening.

Cold, wind and rain tend to discourage us from going outside, reducing the amount we move, and we physical strength. The garden debris and leaves present an excellent opportunity for some physical activity. It doesn't have to be all work, it can be fun after all who doesn't enjoy kicking up leaves. However, it is worth preparing beforehand to limit the aches and pains that may occur.

  • Warm up first
    • 15 minutes of gentle walking or stretching (try these exercises) will get you ready for the more strenuous exercise of raking leaves.
  • Wrap up warm
    • the right clothes will keep your body stop you seizing up,
    • Make sure they are loose enough to allow you to move
    • gloves and hats will prevent heat loss
    • Use layers which you can remove as you warm up to keep your torso toasty.
  • Choose the right tools
    • Use the right length and weight rake or brush to avoiding bending too much.
    • Place a wheelbarrow or bin close by to put the leaves in.
    • Use a step ladder to get to higher branches rather than strain up to reach
    • Use long handled seccateurs for those branches out of reach
  • Make sure you are in the right position for the task in hand
    • Bend at the knees, not the back. Squatting is the best position when you need to get low to the ground.
    • Alternate the way in which you twist and bend when sweeping.
    • Don't over reach when raking, get closer to the leaves and use short movements
  • Manage your working time
    • Don't work for hours to clear all the leaves in one go.
    • Break your work up into manageable chunks - maybe 1 wheelie bin full at a go.
    • Take a break every 30 minutes.
  • Stay rehydrated
    • You may not feel like you are sweating, but you need to ensure you continue to drink as if you were exercising in a gym.

Other physical benefits of leaf clearing

  • It counts as one of your physical activity sessions
  • Raking up and bagging leaves compares to walking briskly or doing a yoga class.
  • You will burn between 90 - 180 calories for every 30 mins you work.
  • You will hopefully benefit from some autumn sun and therefore vitamin D
    • Strengthening your bones through calcium absorption
    • Reducing inflammation.
    • Improving your mood.
  • Your garden will be safer as you will be reducing the risk of slipping.

How can osteopathy help you with your autumn gardening?

If you are feeling stiff or achy before or after you start working in the garden and stretching exercises aren't helping book an appointment online or call 07474521329 today . We can help loosen you off and give you some individual advice so that you are ready to tackle those leaves.