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South Texas Living

Healthy Living: Read this before gardening

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Charles Stuart Platkin, PhD.
April 23, 2014 | 3,349 views | Post a comment

While gardening can burn about 316 calories per hour, it also requires a lot of bending, stretching, lifting, and moving in ways that we don’t typically do. Paula Kramer, Ph.D., professor of occupational therapy at University of the Sciences in Philadelphia, suggests the following:

•Stretch, even for a few days prior, before working in the garden.

•Use a fat, rubberized- or padded-handled trowel for less strain on the arms and joints.

•Tools, such as shears or clippers, with a spring-action, self-opening feature help prevent strain on the muscles and joints.

•Sit while working or take sitting breaks to decrease stress on your back, knees, and hips.

•When lifting potted plants or bags of mulch, bend your knees and lift straight up, keeping your back straight. Concentrate on using the leg muscles rather than the back muscles to lift.

•Do not try to whip your entire garden into shape in one day.

Charles Platkin, Ph.D., is a nutrition and public health advocate and founder of DietDetective.com.

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