Rhonda Cowern, DPT, Physical Therapist
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Planting & Gardening Tips | Moab Physical Therapy

Great gardening tips to keep you healthy from Moab Physical Therapy and RehabilitationPlanting tips to keep your hobby healthy.

Gardening can remain possible at any age with a little planning ahead, so grab your sunscreen, sunglasses, work gloves, and a wide-brimmed hat and let’s get started.

First of all consider safety, are there uneven surfaces, sidewalk cracks, or tripping hazards (like water hose or fallen branches, or gardening tools) lying around? Clear your path first before carrying tools, plants, or soil to the gardening area. Use a wheel barrow if you have one to offset the weight of the load and allow proper body posture going to from your car or shed to your planting area. Work in one small area at a time taking more frequent smaller loads of soil versus trying to drag a heavy bag of soil around. Use a garden spade and small bucket and load up enough soil for a few plants taking more trips as needed.

Moab physical therapy gives the best gardening tips in utahSecondly, consider the amount of time you can dedicate daily without becoming to sore or fatigued. I recommend setting a timer and working in 60-90 minute shifts with 15 minutes of rest, water, or a snack if needed to combat sweat loss and dehydration (especially on hot days). Working too hard in our dry arid climate can leave you dehydrated for days affecting appetite, vision, dizziness and even increasing blood pressure to unhealthy levels.

Thirdly, if you have mobility issues you have several options- use raised garden beds to decrease stooping and bending over which causes undue stress to the spine and can result in low back pain. You may also consider indoor window boxes that you can plant herbs or annuals in and tend to from the comfort of your home. Lastly, take care of yourself- I mentioned the protective wear already with hat, gloves, sunscreen, sunglasses, but protect your knees by kneeling on a foam cushion or having a padded milk crate to sit on a scoot along with to support back and take pressure off your knees. Ultimately the best approach is to get into several different positions and not stay in one position too long cutting off blood flow of straining the same set of muscles repeatedly.

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