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Autumn in the Garden - Ease the Harvest Aches

It's that time of year again - we are busy in the garden harvesting and tidying. This long, hot, dry summer though great for getting outside and enjoying the beaches of Pembrokeshire seems to have hurried along the arrival of autumn for the plants both in the wild and nurtured in our gardens.

Gardening always seems to include lots of repetitive movements that challenge our backs, hips and shoulders in particular, so taking care to give them a stretch at the end of a long day is an ideal way to help get them back to gardening fitness for the next day.

Here are some simple exercise suggestions to keep you moving in the garden:

Lying Twist

Lie on the floor arms stretched out in line with the shoulders

Bend the knees with the feet on the floor

Slowly roll the knees from side to side - head rolls to look away from the knees

Aim for 10 rolls to either side then hold the twist for 30 seconds each side

Seated Shoulder Rolls

Let the arms and hands hang by your side

Draw circles with the shoulders - 10 circles forwards and then 10 circles backwards

Clasp the fingers out in front of you

Round through the spine and pelvis to make a C shape

Hold the arms in front as you count to 30 seconds - imagine someone was pulling your hands away from you

Reach the fingers behind (clasp them together if possible)

Try to lift the chest and hold for 30 seconds - imagine someone was pulling your hands away from you

Standing Roll Down

Stand with the feet under the hips

Roll the chin to the chest

Then carry on rolling the spine down to the floor bend the knees as much as you need to

Let the weight of the arms and head hang down

Bend the knees as the tailbone rolls under

Roll all the way back up - the head comes up last

Repeat 5 times

Sometimes we might not want to stretch when we are tired but it only takes a few minutes and the body will be grateful for it.

If you fancy something a little longer try this video filmed in my own messy garden, we stretch all the parts of the body that needs it as well as find some ways to knead the tight spots. Watch out for some starring rolls by the dog and chickens

Pilates for Gardeners -

If stretching alone doesn't seem to quite hit the spot and you feel like you need to get into the tight spots a little more then try a little more self massage if you have the tools. Foam rollers are great and so are massage balls or tennis balls and they can work really well at getting those spots we just can't reach. Rolling can take a bit more effort than a gentle stretch, but again it really can be worth it, if that's what the body needs. A foam roller can help get into hips and the back, whilst massage balls can be used on the floor or up against a wall to get into the shoulders or the hips. Self massage with a tool like a roller or ball works by using your body weight and some movement to work into the tight spots.

For hints and tips try this link

Tools to help stretch -

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