FEELING GREAT: Gardening can be a problem if you over-exert yourself now

Spring is here, the clocks have gone back, the nights are lighter. It’s time to spend time outside after the darkness of winter.
We all want the best garden in our street don’t we?We all want the best garden in our street don’t we?
We all want the best garden in our street don’t we?

But did you know that spending too much outside, doing too much too soon can be a problem?

We all want the best garden in our street don’t we? The lawn that catches the eye, the one that gets envious glances from the neighbours and people walking by.

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However, gardening can easily cause problems if you over-exert yourself right now. Of course it’s too tempting to get outside at the first opportunity and spend hours doing those jobs you have put off for weeks. “I’ll wait until the weather is better” is a phrase you will have muttered many times.

Well backache or pain is often an inevitable consequence of a few too many hours spent in the garden or an allotment. And in the same way that spending too long in a beer garden will cause pain in your head and stomach, gardening for hours on end is also likely to cause problems such as stiffness, nerve pain or even muscle spasms in your back and knees – and make them all much more likely to happen when you least expect them to.

But it’s not the garden that’s the problem. The garden will look great when it’s in full bloom won’t it!

No, it’s how you’re working on it, and specifically, the positions you have to get into when trying to keep it in great shape. I’ve learned over the years that problems caused by spending too much time in the garden are as regular as clockwork and very easy to predict.

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So much so that just before any Bank Holiday weekend, or now that it’s milder and lighter, we often joke in the Paul Gough Physio Rooms office that the phones will be on red alert, with a flurry of over-keen gardeners wanting some attention on their lower back – which is likely to be so stiff that they can barely get out of a chair. And I’ll let you into a secret: we are never let down!

Next week I’ll tell you how to prepare yourself for those extra hours in the garden and the time you will be spending in positions you’ve not been in for a good few months now.

So as well as your gardening books, I’ve something else for you to read: call my team for a free copy of my book The Healthy Habit.

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