How to Stay Healthy Whilst Gardening


With Winter slowly leaving us and Spring just around the corner, many of us will want to venture outside to enjoy the sunshine and tend to our gardens. Gardening can be a joy, but can so easily become a chore when pain sets in. Preparation is key, as you can potentially risk injury by not listening to the signals that your body is giving you.

Here are a few helpful tips for staying healthy whilst gardening:

  • Loosen up first – take a short walk or do some gentle stretches
  • Start slowly and take frequent breaks
  • Alternate your tasks
  • When digging, keep the shovel close to your body, knees slightly bent and don’t twist as you move the soil to one side
  • Change your position frequently
  • Use a padded kneeler, standing up and stretching regularly to avoid cramping
  • Lift with your legs – straighten your back, look ahead and lift with the power of your legs, not your back
  • Stay hydrated!

Gardening is hard work, but by keeping your body conditioned and by practicing healthy habits you can still be gardening into your senior years.

Requiring strength and flexibility, a regular programme of exercise can help, especially in the following areas:

  • Back – work on strengthening core muscles
  • Arms and Shoulders – weak muscles can strain when lifting and reaching, strengthen those muscles by working on your biceps, triceps, chest and rotator cuff
  • Hands – extremely useful in the garden! Try strengthening your hands with gripping and squeezing exercises
  • Knees – knees take a fair bit of hammer whilst you’re gardening.  Strengthen and lengthen your quadriceps to help you squat or push that wheel barrow up the hill!

At The White House Clinic not only do we have an expert team of physiotherapists who can assist you when injured, but we also have a wonderful team of Pilates instructors who offer weekly group sessions, 1:1s and personalised exercise programmes to keep you going throughout the gardening season.

Check out our class page for more information.

Happy Gardening!

Gregg Roberts

Operations Director & Senior Physiotherapist

Gregg is the Operations Director and a Senior Physiotherapist at the White House Clinic. He qualified with a BSc (hons) in Physiotherapy from Sheffield Hallam University in 2009.

Gregg Roberts

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