Plant And Rake, Without The Ache! #Giveaway

Spring is here, finally, and with the arrival of this warmer season comes a whole lot of work!  It’s time to get out to those lawns and gardens and get things cleaned up.  It’s the time of year when we all like to plant some flowers to brighten things up, tackle the weeds that seem to come from nowhere, and in my case, tackle the overgrown shrubs and vines that managed to survive the longest winter ever!


When the sun made a rare appearance this past weekend I dashed outside to see how much work I could cram in, and here is my sad confession.  After a mere two hours I was done!  Not done because the yard was finished and pretty, but done because I was in agony.  My back was screaming OUCH, stop woman, enough!  As much as I love the idea of getting my yard into ship shape, a couple of reminders to take care of myself while I do so were definitely in order. 

Improper gardening techniques can cause repetitive strain, and wear and tear on joints and muscles, especially the lower back.  Especially for people like me with an existing back injury.  Want to be sure you don’t end up groaning and in pain like I did last weekend?  Follow these great tips provided by the Ontario Chiropractic Association to help avoid back injuries this spring:

·  Stretch it out – Make sure you stretch your thighs, shoulders, sides, arms, back and hamstrings before you start to get the most out of your gardening

·  Alternate tasks – Switch from heavy tasks to light ones, and change your hands and positions frequently.

·  Lift with ease – Always bend with your knees and keep a straight back. Carry the load close to your body.

·   Get low when planting – Knee pads or a kneeling mat can help to ease the strain on your back while you plant and weed your garden. Keep a straight back and stop when you need to have a break.

·  Rake Right – Put one leg in front and another behind when you rake, and alternate on occasion to minimize the back strain.

For more information, be sure to visit The Ontario Chiropractic Association website or give them a like on Facebook. (insider tip: They have some ahh-mazing giveaway’s going on over there right now!)


Chiropractors tend to see more back injuries from poor positioning and lifting during springtime gardening and they truly want you to plant and rake without the ache!  So take heed of the advice they have offered up and then jump in and enter to win this lovely giveaway!  One lucky reader of How To Survive Life in the Suburbs will  win this fabulous  Plant and Rake Without the Ache Gift Basket ARV $100.00 !!!  It contains everything you will need to garden in style and without that ache! 

Please enter using the Rafflecopter form provided.  Contest is open to Canada only and closes June 1, 2014.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Disclosure: I am participating in a campaign with the Ontario Chiropractor Association, all opinions and thoughts expressed are my own.


  1. Jeannie says:

    My best tip is the same as get low when planting! Don’t bend down from the waist, but rather get low either in low squat position or get on your knees and sit.

  2. ivy pluchinsky says:

    when in the garden sit on a stool instead of bending down

  3. I like to use a stool for my low gardens but I also built raised garden beds that are 3 ft tall so that I dont hurt my back.

  4. Linda Klages says:

    do some stretching exercises before starting

  5. Nancy T says:

    Make your husband do it! Just kidding…..we have a fairly big lot with lots of gardens and grass. I generally plan the winter clean up over a few weekends – as much as I would love to get it all done in one day, my body wouldn’t thank me for it. And definitely having the right tools for the job is the way to go!

  6. Karlene says:

    Make sure you’re bending the correct way and yes a gardening stool will definitely help you.

  7. tanyab79 says:

    I don’t have one but used one above like mentioned. 🙂

    Stretch it out – Make sure you stretch your thighs, shoulders, sides, arms, back and hamstrings before you start to get the most out of your gardening

  8. Amy Brown says:

    My tip is don’t try to do it all at once, spread the work out over a few days (or weeks).

  9. Laurie B says:

    My best tip to avoid back injury/pain is to do things at a pace. Limit what you can carry even if it means anothrr5 trip to the garage or whatnot. The less strain you put on your back the less you risk becoming injured.

  10. Laurie B says:

    I like your post on facebook as Laurie Bolduc-Cadieux

  11. My tip would be to use the right tools so that they can help you do your work. Lots of gardening work ahead of my husband and I – a complete backyard rework!

  12. KAren E. HIll says:

    Bend from the knees, stretch and take breaks from arduous tasks like raking and mowing

  13. kristen visser says:

    liked your facebook giveaway post

  14. kristen visser says:

    always stretch before and after and take breaks in between if you have to, just to sit down and have some water

  15. kristen visser says:

    shared the giveaway post on my facebook

  16. Lynda Cook says:

    stretch it out, or my favourite one is just let the hubby do it, sit back and supervise!!

  17. ginette4 says:

    Stretch before starting any gardening work

  18. ginette4 says:
  19. stacy k says:

    Stretch and lift with the knees

  20. Bridget says:

    Take all the help you have- small kids are awesome weeders and planters if they want to help! And they’re already low, so no extra injuries 😉

  21. Bridget says:

    liked and shared on facebook

  22. I am all about trying to find my abs so they can protect my back. I suspect they are in there somewhere.. deep down. But I am focused on tightening them up so my back will have a reprieve.

  23. accept any help offered, hold a garden preparation party, make it fun for others; otherwise, keep stretching daily. thanks

  24. Don’t try to do everything in one day

  25. Glogirl says:

    My favourite tip is to always bend with your knees to prevent strain on your back.

  26. Judy C (Judy Cowan) says:

    My best tip is to stretch and not to bend over to do the work, get down to the level of the garden to do it!

  27. Alternate tasks is a good tip. I tend to want to get all the heavy lifting out of the way first but that’s probably not the best approach!

  28. I’d agree with all the recommendations except the first. The research I’ve read (reported on the New York Times Well blog) suggests that static stretches before exercise are actually a bad idea – your body thinks you are on the verge of injury and consequently your muscles work less efficiently. Instead, they are now recommending just starting out whatever you are doing a little slowly. And then stretch when you’re done.

    Here’s one article about it:

  29. I definitely believe in stretching before any sort of physical work, just to loosen those muscles! And be careful when you bend – I have often twinged my back by bending in an awkward way.

  30. Stretch it out. Been doing this more and it really helps!

  31. Michelle Michaud says:

    Do some stretches before any physical activities!

  32. Alternate tasks. I really feel it in my back if I have been doing the same thing for a long time and stand up – it is almost like my back seizes.

  33. my father has had many hernia surgeries and we know the importance of strong back muscles- use your legs to lift ! not your back

  34. I try to make sure I have everything right around me and sit or kneel as it protects my back..If I cannot then I try to do something that I can stay in one place and plant dig weed etc Its very important to protect your back I protect my back from being in traction from a transport accident accident hitting me

  35. liked the giveaway post on your facebook

  36. My problem is that I don’t feel the pain until after I’m done working. I go and go and then at night I feel like I’m having a life ending attack with shoulder and/or back pain. I need to remember these tips so I can have an easier time on the night after!

  37. Ei Leen says:

    Stretch before starting!

  38. Michelle says:

    Streching before gardening is so important and taking breaks too to sit comfortably

  39. I use my kids old Wagon to move heavy bags of earth and try to always use proper lifting techniques

  40. MrDisco says:

    My best tip to avoid back injuries is to hire some temporary foreign workers.

  41. Always bend at the knees when lifting…or better yet, get someone else to do it! lol

  42. Liked on Facebook.

  43. Don’t bend the back and use your knees.

  44. Stretch before beginning, know your limit & ask for help!

  45. Bend from the knees and take things slowly.

  46. Sunshine G says:

    Do 5 minutes of stretching last thing at night and first thing in the morning – it makes a world of difference when gardening season comes around!

  47. Kristen says:

    The only one I know is bend your knees when you lift heavy items.

  48. Lots of stretching.

  49. Karrie Millheim says:

    I stretch my body out first and tend to keep from overdoing it

  50. Heidi C. says:

    Stretch before, during and afterwards and keep hydrated.

  51. Heidi C. says:

    I liked and shared on FB – Heidi Carlson-Reid

  52. patty george says:

    use a garden stool… and have someone else move the heavy soil to the new garden beds,

  53. Darlene Schuller says:

    I stretch out a bit before getting to yard work.

  54. ginette4 says:
  55. Cheryl Grandy says:

    Alternate tasks – that’s the one I forget. I get so focused on getting a particular task finished that I don’t stop to take a break from working the same muscles.

  56. Juliee Fitze says:

    Always bend with your knees and keep a straight back. Carry the load close to your body.

  57. I’m laughing as I read this because I’m sitting here hurting after trying to be Superwoman doing yard work today! So clearly I don’t have my own tips but I’m liking the lifting tip in the post.

  58. I didn’t think of it myself but I think this is the best advice: Stretch it out – Make sure you stretch your thighs, shoulders, sides, arms, back and hamstrings before you start to get the most out of your gardening

  59. I like the tip about Always bend with your knees and keep a straight back

  60. ginette4 says:
  61. Carol M (Lushka S) says:

    Get low while planting

  62. Always warm up

  63. Stretching is so important as well as taking breaks during whatever activity you are doing and stretching.

  64. Liked and shared on FB; Kam Par

  65. ginette4 says:
  66. Darlene Schuller says:

    I liked the post on fb!

  67. Patrick Siu says:

    Do some stretching exercice before u do anything and use the right tool

  68. Silvia D says:

    bend at the knees and do stretching before starting

  69. Always stretch before hand and stay hydrated!

  70. Brandee H says:

    I like the tip to get low with ease. So much easier than bending over!

  71. ginette4 says:
  72. angela m says:

    Always bend with your knees and keep a straight back.

  73. angela m says:

    LIked and shared your facebook post

  74. Lee-Ann says:

    Lift using your knees not your back.

  75. Sarah C says:

    For some tasks, like gardening, it always helps me to sit on a stool rather than bending or squatting.

  76. Sarah C says:

    I liked the giveaway announcement on facebook.

  77. Karla Sceviour says:

    Lift with ease – Always bend with your knees and keep a straight back. Carry the load close to your body.

  78. Karla Sceviour says:

    I liked & shared it on facebook (Karla Sceviour)

  79. Stretch and take lots of breaks!

  80. liked n shared on fb

  81. Michelle says:

    I use knee pads when I have to kneel

  82. Cassey C says:

    I switch from heavy to light tasks.

  83. Always bend with your knees and keep a straight back.

  84. mongupp (@mongupp) says:

    Sitting on a little stool. My mum had one 🙂

  85. ginette4 says:
  86. Dawn Sutherland says:

    Stretch before starting (or do some yoga!), mix up tasks throughout so that you are not in one position for too long, bend at the knees and drink lots of water!

  87. Wayne Lecoy says:

    I am entering your giveaway.
    It would be great to win the Plant and Rake Without the Ache Gift Basket.
    My best tip to avoid back injuries this spring is
    always bend with your knees to prevent strain on your back.
    On your Facebook Page i liked and shared your Giveaway announcement for another entry.
    Thank you for having this giveaway!!!!!!!!!!!!

  88. Susan Spidle says:

    Bend at the knees and not the back or use a kneeler pad.

  89. jennifer lucas says:

    I like to always do a little stretching before I do anything. Bending with your knees not your back, and I try not to do a lot of conortionist moves in the garden.

  90. Andrea Amy says:

    definitely life with your knees and not your back

  91. Kristine Ewald says:

    Bend correctly but warm up before you garden

  92. ginette4 says:
  93. Kayla Gilbert says:

    Stretch every morning and before and after lifting something heavy. Don’t lift anything too heavy by yourself; for someone to help you. Always lift using your legs and knees, not your back.

  94. Kayla Gilbert says:

    Liked your Facebook giveaway entry post 🙂

  95. Brandy champion says:

    I try and take breaks to rest my back I try as not lift things that are to heavy. I like to take my time in the garden and not rush the outcome

  96. like on Facebook

  97. nicolthepickle says:

    Alternate tasks is my favourite way to not get stiff, and stretch before and after.

  98. nicolthepickle says:

    I liked and shared on facebook as Nicole Graham.

  99. I always sit on a stool, wear knee pads and never lift anything using my back!

  100. Karen E. HIll says:

    Liked and shared on FB page

  101. Evelyn Brydon says:

    I had to just part with my last set of gardening gloves and these would be perfect for me.

  102. Jenny Major says:

    proper range of motion

  103. Natasha Kravtsov says:

    Proper good range of motion

  104. Jenness M says:

    I find doing yoga 5 days a week has made my back stronger.

  105. Colleen Rose says:

    Take breaks and be aware of your posture . Liked and shared on facebook as Colleen Rose

  106. Colleen Rose says:
  107. Holly Wright says:

    Wear good comfortable shoes!

  108. Wendy hutton says:

    I have had back problems all my life so you learn to lift with your legs bent- less stress on the back

  109. Wendy hutton says:

    liked and shared on facebook

  110. Lisa Robertson says:

    Stretch out before and use your knees not your back

  111. Doris H. says:

    Have a good quality kneeling pad when you are gardening. It will take a lot of pressure off your back. Remember to stretch frequently as well.

  112. Angela Mitchell says:

    I have back problems and two things that I do all the time is stretch daily and not stay in any one position for too long.

  113. Angela Mitchell says:

    I liked and shared on Facebook as Angela Mitchell.

  114. Angela Mitchell says:
  115. take breaks, drink water and use those little gardening stools.

  116. Catharine says:

    Lift with your knees, not your back.

  117. Dont try to be a hero and carry a heavy load. Break it down into more managable loads.

  118. be sure to take your time and pace yourself and remember to stretch

  119. Stretching exercises before you start is a good idea.

  120. proper range of motion

  121. ginette4 says:
  122. Michaella Smith says:

    Bend with your knees!!!

  123. ginette4 says:
  124. Tina L. says:

    Make sure you stretch beforehand.

  125. bend with knees not back!

  126. Jeannie says:

    I liked your giveaway post

  127. Jeannie says:

    I shared your giveaway post.

  128. Switch it up! Do different tasks, not just doing one for a long period of time

  129. Erin Wilson says:

    Do active stretching before an activity and static ones after.

  130. ginette4 says:
  131. Wanda Bergman says:

    Stretching before you do anything strenuous really helps a lot.

  132. ginette4 says:
  133. Carol M (Lushka S) says:

    Liked & shared on FB

  134. Andrea Amy says:

    Liked the FB post 🙂 And shared 🙂

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