Tips for Feeling Good

NEW Injury Prevention in Agriculture

Good posture for shoveling

Click here for a downloadable PDF featuring a range of injury prevention techniques, including principles of good body mechanics, techniques for lifting & reaching, alternatives to stooping, and instructions for various stretches.

Yoga for Gardeners and Farmers

Six yoga poses that are great for the growing season, courtesy of our friends at

Proper Stretching Technique

  • Perform balanced stretching. This means you should always stretch the muscles on both sides of your body evenly. Don’t stretch one side more than the other side.
  • Avoid over-stretching. Never stretch to the point of pain or discomfort. You will feel slight tension or a pull on the muscle at the peak of the stretch.
  • Go slow! Always stretch slowly and evenly. Hold the stretch for about fifteen seconds and release slowly as well.
  • Never bounce or jerk while stretching. This can cause injury as a muscle is pushed beyond its ability. All stretches should be smooth, and slow.
  • Don't forget to breathe. Flexibility exercises should be relaxing. Deep, easy, even breathing is key to relaxation. Never hold your breath while you stretch.

Abdominal Stretch

Here is a stretch you can do anywhere prior to any vigorous activity, including shoveling

  1. Stand up straight with your arms at your sides and your feet shoulder width apart
  2. Bend your trunk sideways to the left while sliding your left hand down your thigh and reaching your right arm over your head
  3. Hold for a count of 10
  4. Return to starting position
  5. Now bend your trunk sideways to the right while sliding your right hand down your thigh and reaching your left arm over your head
  6. Hold for a count of 10
  7. Repeat above 10 more times

Back Stretch

The Pelvic Tilt (If you participated in childbirth education classes you are acquainted with this exercise)

This exercise can be done anytime you are lying on a flat, hard surface. The first time you do the pelvic tilt you may be surprised to notice how tight your back muscles are and how good it feels to stretch them out.

The pelvic tilt also strengthens your lower abdominal muscles.

  1. Start on your back with your knees bent and your feet flat on the floor.
  2. As you exhale, contract your abdominal muscles, pushing your belly button towards the floor and flattening your lower back.
  3. Hold 5 seconds.
  4. Inhale and relax
  5. Repeat 10 times.