Boots are essential in our work. For proof, compare the heel on Janet's old right boot to the new one (right). That chewed up heel is what took the hit as shovel met sole a thousand times or more. The boot has nicks on the sides, too, from each time the leather came between her foot and a bad cut from a wayward spade edge.
New boots are another matter. Literally, they can be a pain. Although we know we must make the transition, we never enjoy it. Right now, Janet's starting each day in her new boots but switching to the old at lunchtime. There's just no room in our schedule for blisters and cramps.
Likewise, you need to stay well so you can enjoy the whole gardening season. So give your winter self a gradual breaking in. Before you resume gardening this spring, visualize what you'll be doing and find some comparable, milder activities you can do indoors as warm up.
Then, once you go out, don't overdo. Switch feet, handhold, position every fifteen minutes. We've been doing it for 30 years but it still takes a conscious effort.
Thanks to our fellow Detroit Zoo Adopt-a-Garden volunteers for modeling these essential garden postures.