gardening club learns body-safe gardening techniques | Community

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The New Century Garden Club met at the Richmond home of hostess Abby Bement assisted by co-hostesses Pat Pittman and Pat Atkinson. Laura Richardson, mother and guest of the hostess, also helped serve the delicious meal which consisted of an assortment of salad sandwiches, fries, a fruit platter and dip, as well as a range of desserts.

Patty Kocich, club member and owner of Physical Therapy Care and Aquatic Rehab of Fort Bend, presented a program on how to perform activities safely without damaging the spine. She emphasized that with proper exercise, flexibility is the key to safety. Correct posture reduces strain on the back. Sitting properly involves stepping back in a chair to an upright position. Using a lumbar roller can ensure correct posture and will prevent the back from sagging. The hinge (flexion) at the hips keeps the back straight rather than rounded. Failure to follow this advice could lead to disk problems. Using good posture maintains pressure on the discs keeping them in good condition.

Kneeling gardening to pull weeds should use the hinge technique to bend and avoid rounding the shoulders. When reaching, use both hands and don’t twist to reach for extra space. When pruning shrubs, pay attention to the arch. Always use the hinge method to reach an area to work on.

When shoveling, rotate the body to put the dirt to the side. Do not twist. It is also important to use sturdy gardening shoes when using a shovel.

Avoid overloading when carrying objects and keep the weight of the load evenly distributed. It is important to use proper lifting technique. Position your body close to the object, straddle it, and squat with your back straight using your legs to lift yourself up. Reverse the technique to pose it correctly.

Even personal bags need to balance their weight, she advised. Backpacks and shoulder bags are better than shoulder bags.

After the program, Nancie Rain opened the meeting by thanking the hostesses for their efforts. The officers and the presidents made their reports. Notable reports include Pat Pittman on the refresh of the Jane Long Garden’s granite walkways. Club members were very pleased to learn that Jane Long’s teacher, Debbie Cole, and her class were spotted observing blue bonnets, butterflies and bumblebees important to the garden. Diane Becker reported that a Chinese fringe tree was chosen to be planted in the garden in memory of Alma Slavinski.

The last meeting will be our salad/dessert supper provided by club members. Ladies are encouraged to bring a $10 item to place in the perfect attendance basket and bring something for the Make It, Fake It, Take It Auction Club fundraiser.

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