Family Health West Has Your Back Covered

Fruita, CO (May 12, 2011) – Family Health West is proud to present “We Have Your Back Covered” on May 14th beginning at 11:00 a.m. at the Fruita Community Center. As milder temperatures arrive, many of us look forward to finally getting out into our gardens. The garden is a not only where plants, flowers and veggies thrive, but a place where people of all ages can enjoy the fruits of their labor, get outside and enjoy health physical activity. However, as with all types of exercise, there is a risk of injury if done improperly and for many, these injuries affect the back.
"Gardeners often injure themselves because they don’t view gardening as a workout," says Family Health West PT, Ellen Mead, "Gardening is a more strenuous than you think and it is very easy for people to overdo it, especially for the elderly, those with former injuries, or those who aren’t used to being very active.”
Digging, planting, weeding, mulching and raking can cause stress and strain on muscles and joints. “According to the American Physical Therapy Association (APTA), it is important that gardeners take a health-conscious approach to both prevent injuries and enjoy the health benefits of gardening,” added Mead. The following tips can ensure that you take care of your back while you take care of that luscious garden:
• Warm up. Take a 10-minute walk, then roll your shoulders in a circular motion and slowly move your head from side to side a few times.
• Be mindful of how your body feels. If it hurts, stop! Take a break, get some water, stretch or do a different task.
• Use a wheelbarrow to move tools and heavy planting materials.
• Avoid kneeling on both knees. Keep one foot on the ground to give your back more stability. If you must kneel, use knee pads or a pillow to absorb some of the pressure.
• Take frequent breaks and change your position to avoid cramping or stiffness.
• Begin with small projects and build up gradually.
• Bend at your knees and contract your abdominal muscles to avoid straining your back when pulling weeds.
• After gardening, take a short walk or do some light stretching. Take a warm bath or shower to help prevent next-day soreness.
For more tips and information, please be sure to attend the first of the” We’ve Got Your Back Covered” series sponsored by Family Health West at the Fruita Community Center on May 14th at 11:00 a.m.. Call 858-2147 for more information or 858-0360 to reserve your space.