Although it felt like it would never happen, the time for gardening is here. Remember that when you haven’t been in your garden for six months you need to start slowly and build up gradually.
Try alternating between sitting, kneeling and standing tasks. Just like in yoga class, when you’ve been forward bending it is good to do a little backbend when you take a break. If you’ve been kneeling, get up and take a little walk around every ten minutes. It’s good to check that you can still get up (lol).
Set a timer so that you don’t spend three or four hours working when you really only should be spending one. Slow and steady will keep you out of the chiropractor’s office
If the amount of work looks overwhelming. Call a grand-child, hire a neighbour’s kid or locate a good yard clean-up service. If you are hiring a kid you will probably need to supervise directly, but this is a good time to teach him/her about how to be outside without a cell phone.
You may also want to think about downsizing your garden. Flowering shrubs or small bushes can be a nice alternative.
Remember to bend your knees when stooping over. Sit down whenever you can. You can use a low stool or a piece of cardboard to sit on. Also, consider trying a padded kneeler (available from Lee Valley and other fine gardening stores). http://www.leevalley.com/en/Garden/page.aspx?p=66385&cat=2,44766
Use long-handled tools when possible (it cuts down the kneeling) and large-handled tools if you are prone to arthritis (they require less effort to grip).
A decent pair of gardening gloves that fit well, grip well, and keep your hands clean and dry will help ward off some of the aches, prevent scratches, mitigate gross encounters with grubs, and also keep the dirt out of your fingernails.
If you’ve already overdone it a warm bath with Epsom salts and a nice glass of wine (or your beverage of choice) will help you forget about them. Drink plenty of fluids (besides the wine) to help sore muscles recuperate. Nature is pretty forgiving. Remember that ordinary overuse injuries usually resolve within about 48 hrs. Give your body a little time to recover and the start again. Don’t forget to come to yoga class to stretch out any remaining, stubborn kinks.