As we move into November, the cold weather creeps up on us. We spend less time working out in our gardens, in favor of staying warm and cozy indoors. However, there are still plenty of things we can do to nourish and care for ourselves over the winter in preparation for a busy spring gardening schedule. Two important items on that list are 1) exercising and 2) assessing our tools.
Gardening is a great form of exercising from our arms down to our toes. Gardeners spend all growing season lifting, squatting, and pushing heavy objects across our gardens. We don’t want to lose any of our strength and flexibility over the wintertime. We don’t need to train like a sports star but throwing in a couple of exercises each week can have big results. Starting the morning off with an easy stretch or exercise can help awaken any joints that are stiff from lack of movement while asleep. There are many free resources for simple at-home exercises to help keep us in shape and prevent future gardening injuries.
Winter is also a great time to go through our tools and see what needs cleaning, sharpening, or replacing. Consider modifying your tools or replacing them to become more ergonomic. Many ergonomic gardening tools have either a curved handle or have the tool at a 90-degree angle to the handle. This shape reduces strain on our wrists. Ergonomic tools tend to have a wider handle for an easier grip. There are ways to add material like foam to tool handles to increase their size. Some larger tools like shovels have a round handle at the end for an easier hold.
Food Hero Exercises
Aerobic Activity – https://foodhero.org/magazines/older-adults-focus-aerobic-activity
Level Up Class
The Healthy Gardener – https://media.oregonstate.edu/media/t/1_bqwste6p
Walk With Ease – https://extension.oregonstate.edu/walk-ease
Better Bones and Balance – https://extension.oregonstate.edu/bbb/participant-resources
Ergonomic Tool Examples