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Prevent muscle and joint injuries

Sunday was my birthday. I’m not fishing for birthday wishes, and I won’t tell you my age. I will say that the years are creeping up on me, and several hours of digging, weeding, and deadheading affect me more than they did in 2014, when I started writing this column. Years of stooping, lifting, reaching, and hauling heavy loads take their toll on muscles and joints.

Basic principles of movement exist, but we all forget to use them, especially when we are tired, often resulting in pulled muscles or strained joints. At the very least, we end up sore and tired, as I did earlier this week after Jim and I spent a marathon day planting more than 80 new herb and perennial plants, a late shipment from one of our favorite companies in Canada.

Most of us want to work with our backs, but we should use the large, strong muscles in our legs and arms, particularly when lifting heavy loads or moving large objects. Poor posture and improper use of back muscles while performing tasks are respons...

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