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Physical Demands of Gardening?

This is a discussion on Physical Demands of Gardening? within the Gloves forums, part of the Gear category; When I was in my early 20s I rode motorcycles. I gave it up in my late 20s for the ...


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Old 12-15-2008   #1
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Default Physical Demands of Gardening?

When I was in my early 20s I rode motorcycles. I gave it up in my late 20s for the safer hobby of scuba diving. Now in my early 30s, I spend most of my free time gardening. It's more physically demanding than either of my old hobbies! After a weekend of very nice weather, my hands have blisters from using the bulb planter (I was wearing gloves) and my back kills from kneeling over my beds planting seeds and seedlings, and my body aches like after a very energetic workout even though I'm already in good shape physically and health-wise. Yet, I see 80 year old men and women easily gardening all the time. What are their old-timer secrets to making gardening less physically demanding?
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Old 12-15-2008   #2
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Everybody's back kills them after gardening, you are using muscles you probably never used before. That is what I always say, and I garden. Keep feeling the gardening burn, it's all good!
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Old 12-18-2008   #3
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First, you will want thick leather gloves for your yard work from now on. I recently switched to them and kick myself for not doing it sooner! I got mine for less than $10 at Lowes and they are worth every cent!!!There are also stools/seats that most gardeners sit on while they are gardening. They usually"rock"back and forth and move with you as your garden. You should not be bending over to garden - very bad for your back as you are now finding out! I am also in my 30's and know how you feel.They also sell knee pads LOL I know it sounds goofy but if you are going to do a lot of kneeling I would seriously think about them as well. Who cares how they look!What most of the"old timers"do is stretch and"warm up"before they go out to garden. I would recommend this to you as well. Do a light workout before you garden as it usually works for me, and then stretch again after you are done too.
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Old 12-19-2008   #4
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Since I am only 52 this may not qualify as an"old-timer secrets". Stretch out first. Don't stay in the same position for an extended period of time. I don't wear gloves and don't get blisters. Use a Mantis to cultivate beds, then a 6"drop-forged trowel for bulb and small transplants. Good old shovel (long handle NEVER D-handle back breaker) for 1 gallon through 5 gallon plantings. Use your legs as lever fulcrums for turning the compost (6'x 3'x 3') piles (two working piles) not your back. Line the aisles of vegie garden (works with beds beautifully) with 7 to 9 layers of newspaper, cover with dirt (mulch in beds) serious weed reduction.Want to trade cuttings? I can send you an Excel list. Contact my avatar. Just love playing in the dirt!
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