Injury-Proof Your Gardening

Getting on your hands and knees to plant, bending over to water—gardening can wreak havoc on your body. Sidestep mishaps with these tips from P. Allen Smith, author of the Garden Home series.

Getting on your hands and knees to plant, bending over to water—gardening can wreak havoc on your body. Sidestep mishaps with these tips from P. Allen Smith, author of the Garden Home series.

01 of 05

Protect your back

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Plant your garden in raised beds and containers—it's easier on your back than bending way over to the ground.

02 of 05

Get a grip

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Pad the handles of tools with grip tape or foam rubber; this makes them easier tohandle and prevents blisters.

03 of 05

Get your blood flowing

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Warm up before you start gardening by walking or stretching. And don’t do thesame task in the same position for too long—that can lead to muscle and joint pain or repetitive-motion injuries.

04 of 05

Keep it toxic-free

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Reduce your exposure to pesticides by adding plants that repel bad bugs. For instance, garlic plants keep aphids away.

05 of 05

Shun the sun

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Avoid sun damage by wearing sunscreen and a wide-brimmed hat. Final tip: Do your gardening early or late in the day, when the sun is less intense.

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