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  • Writer's pictureSecond Opinion Magazine

Spring Gardening Work

When beginning your spring gardening work, it’s also important to keep these points in mind:

▪ Stay hydrated.  When your body is low on fluids your muscles will become tense and are more prone to injury (picture twisting a piece of jerky!).  Though heat/environment may increase your need, typical fluid intake should include half of your body weight in ounces of water on a daily basis (e.g., if you weigh 100 pounds you should attempt to consume 50 ounces of water daily).

▪ The most dangerous activity for the low back is a bend/twist/lift.  This activity (e.g., raking, unloading items from the trunk, weeding, etc.) can place the joints of the lumbar spine in a vulnerable position and cause excess pressure on the lumbar discs.  It is always best to move your feet to rotate, rather than twisting your spine.  With raking for instance, it is best to use short strokes while holding the rake close to your body and switch from side to side (as opposed to planting your feet and bending/twisting to one side to reach the rake as far as you can).  The same goes for weeding (focus on the area in front of you rather than reaching off to the side).

▪ The body loves symmetry.  It is difficult to always be symmetrical with gardening activities but do your best to switch sides and take turns from right to left.  This will help to minimize injuries by building strength bilaterally and avoiding overuse of one side of the body.

▪ Utilize the proper tools and equipment.  This can make the yard work not only more efficient but also more enjoyable.  Stools, kneelers, or knee pads can help minimize stress and strain on the knee joints and allow you to spend more time in the garden.

▪ Take breaks frequently.  Being in one position for more than thirty minutes can lead to muscle cramps and degrading posture.  Move around the yard or garden and change up your activity whenever possible. For those who love to garden but are unable due to available space, body limitations, etc., there are options!

Check out to learn more about the Tower Garden, an aeroponic, vertical garden. The unit can be used outside or inside and requires no dirt and no weeding!

Dr. Emily Smith, of Smith and Prissel Chiropractic, has a specialty in Chiropractic Pediatrics but loves working with patients of any age.

Energy AlertHousehold energy data varies by geographical location, but the U.S Department of Energy reports national averages that pertain to our sources of fuel and our lifestyle choices:

• 34% of our household energy consumed goes to space heating • 34% goes to lighting and other appliances • 13% goes to heating water • 11% goes to air conditioning • 8% goes to refrigeration

This chart shows the number of pesticides that might be on the  non-organic produce you buy.

Food # of Different Pesticides

Celery  64 Peaches  62 Strawberries  59 Blueberries  52 Leafy Greens  51 Bell Peppers  49 Spinach  48 Apples  42 Cherries  42 Potatoes  37 Grapes  34 Nectarines  33

From year to year, this list of the top twelve items with the most pesticides on them changes.

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