Keeping up with the physical demands of growing

Published Aug 12, 2022 09:00 a.m. ET
iStock / Mintr

Growing cannabis can be rewarding, and most find the process to be both therapeutic and a whole lot of fun, but it certainly takes a lot out of any individual, physically, no matter how many plants one might care for. Those who do this for a living day in and day out know the pains of cultivation most intimately, and if you’re not taking the appropriate steps, it’s an issue that is likely to get worse with time.

Tips and tricks

Sadly, gardening of any kind can result in pains, sprains, and other injuries, but there are some things you can do to reduce the toll on your body. With these tips and tricks, you’ll once again be able to thoroughly enjoy the hobby, skill, and art without having to pay for it too much physically.

1. Stretch

This one might take you back to gym class when the teacher would talk about how important it is to warm up and stretch out those muscles before using them too much, and there’s more truth to this than you probably gave educators credit for. The act of stretching can improve blood flow and make it so you’re less likely to pull a muscle.

2. Go for a walk

Stretching is a really great start, but what have you done so far today to really get moving? If the answer is not much, then as much as it might seem counterintuitive, a gentle walk before getting started could do you a world of good. It doesn’t have to be far to improve oxygen levels and alertness, which will help you to avoid making mistakes that might lead to accidents while you’re growing.

3. Shift positions

All cultivators know the growing pains that come from sitting in one position for way too long. Doing so can be incredibly painful, or at the very least, put your legs, arms, or another part of the body to sleep, making it difficult, and in some cases even dangerous to move once you’re ready. Instead, try to focus on small shifts in position, and your body will thank you for the effort.

4. Use the right tools for the job

You might not need a bunch of fancy tools to grow cannabis, but the reality is that people have spent generations designing innovative instruments that help to make the job so much easier, so why not benefit from their hard work? Automation and even simple tools such as shears with long handles to keep you from bending over can make gardening less painful and more enjoyable.

5. Always lift with your knees

We know that a simple plant and pot might not appear to be too heavy to lift and that the water jug is just way too easy to overfill, with both of these things taking a huge toll on your knees if you aren’t focused on picking them up correctly. Seriously, lift with your knees, especially if you’re already struggling with back problems.

Taboo

6. Go easy on the knees

If you’re growing cannabis outdoors, then chances are pretty good you spend far too much time down on one or both knees, and that’s really hard on those pressure points over time. Of course, it’s not always possible to avoid this stance, but there are things you can do to cushion your knees, like investing in a high-quality pair of knee pads.

7. Try to maintain good posture

It’s easy to get caught in a literal slump as you hunch over a garden plot or pots to reach the depths of your grow, and that’s a hard habit to break, but if you don’t, it’s liable to cause significant damage to your back, which can be very painful. Instead, sit or stand up straight with your neck and spine aligned as much as possible. The correction, even in small intervals can reduce pain.

8. Don’t forget to take breaks

Growing doesn’t always seem like a time-consuming task, especially when you find it relaxing to do, but it’s still so important to stop for breaks when they’re needed, even if you’re not quite convinced you need one just yet. For this reason, scheduling a few minutes throughout the day, specifically to sit down, relax, stretch, and eat is highly recommended.

9. Stay hydrated

Even the lucky few working in top-notch indoor grow facilities are going to sweat as they work away to keep the crop thriving, and this is especially true when you’re stuck in a hot greenhouse all day. Unfortunately, people don’t tend to drink enough water on an average day, never mind when they need it the most, so it’s a great idea to keep a bottle handy at all times. Keep it full, cold, and at the ready, and make sure to actively sip on the wonderful fluid of life, because it will help to ensure you feel better once you’re done.

10. Keep on moving

Once you’re done gardening for the day, it’s only natural to want to sit back and really in your favourite comfortable chair, but unfortunately, this can work against you. It’s safer to slowly decrease the amount of physical activity rather than ceasing it all at once if you want to avoid stiffness and swelling of the muscles and joints.

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