Gardening Vivian | 26 Jan 2011 07:39 am

If You Want to Prevent an Aching Back, Put a Potting Bench in Your Garden

With stress levels increasing across the country, millions of people are looking for ways to relax without spending a large amount of money. Some methods of reducing stress include exercising, housecleaning or lawn care. In recent years, many Americans have discovered the joy and de-stressing value in creating their own garden. Fresh fruits, vegetables, herbs and flowers are a special treat and bring pride to the gardener. Gardening is also a hobby that provides instant or quick satisfaction. The results of gardening are seen instantly or in a short period time, as plants and flowers grow and blossom.

Gardeners often find that physical strain and wear and tear on the body can be brutal, often causing an aching back. For some, a bench can be a great solution to this problem and make gardening a hobby that is far more comfortable. Potting benches make gardening more enjoyable, since they are often made to be at waist-level. This can help people avoid the constant stretching and bending that is required when putting plants in the ground and digging holes.

Although transporting or carrying an object may not provide the immediate, traumatic stress that comes when trying to lift an object, it can still cause a lot of damage to your back. There are several techniques you can employ to help you move objects that won’t result in a trip to the emergency room. In addition to adding a potting bench, back experts and chiropractors advise gardeners to take the following steps to prevent an aching back:

Make stretching a requirement before starting your gardening. One of the best things you can do to reduce the risk of back strain or injury is to stretch before you get out of bed. Stretching will start to warm, limber, and lubricate your back.

Something as simple as lying on your back in a relaxed, comfortable position with your legs extended can do wonders for your back. Slowly raise your arms over your head and lay them on the bed. Gently reach with both arms as far over your head as you comfortably can. Then, add your legs and toes to the exercise, pointing your toes toward the foot of the bed.

Be careful to stress only enough to cause a mild amount of tension and hold the stretch for ten seconds. Next, relax your entire body. For maximum benefit, repeat this stretch a few times. You might also want to try it with one arm at a time. For your spine, it’s like breakfast in bed.

Wearing a good pair of shoes is very important in preventing back injuries. Shoes play an important role in the comfort of your feet and your back. Flat, thin-soled shoes often increase your back discomfort. Many gardeners like to wear sandals or tennis shoes when working outdoors. This isn’t always a wise idea. When buying shoes, look for shoes with good arch supports and a fair amount of rubber or other soft material under the heel and sole to absorb the shock created when you walk. If you cannot find a shoe that meets these requirements, look into silicone or rubber shoe inserts.

Another way to help prevent injury to your back is to buy a bench that can be moved around the garden easily, preferably a potting bench with wheels Benches with wheels are great for transporting down garden paths or even when loading into a garage. Look for a lightweight bench that will accommodate your needs without be cumbersome. Your back will appreciate the extra effort and reward you with many comfortable days ahead.

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