Raking without aching, proper ways to clean up your yard
Well, fall is here and to many, that means extra work is involved in cleaning up the yard of the fallen leaves. There are things to consider in order to avoid injury, especially of your back . Many people don’t realize that raking is a vigorous activity, with more reaching bending and lifting involved than other household jobs. So here are some tips to avoid injury and possibly a visit to my brand new office…
-First things first, stretch. Just like exercising, the muscles need warmed up, especially in colder weather, before beginning. Consider raking a vigorous exercise and take 10 minutes to stretch the arms, legs and back muscles before starting.
-Use the right equipment. Get a rake that’s comfortable for your height and strength. Wear gloves to avoid blisters. There are some ergonomic rakes on the market designed to reduce bending, consider opting for one of these.
-Wear shoes with slip resistant soles. This way falls on slippery leaves can be avoided.
-When raking, keep space between your hands on the grip to increase leverage. Use short, quick motions and keep the rake close to your body. Switch sides every 2 to 3 minutes.
-To pick up leaves, bend at the knees not at the waist. This is very important to avoid back injuries.
-Don’t overfill the leaf bags, especially if leaves are wet. You should be able to carry the bags comfortably and keep them close to your center of gravity, which is right in front of your stomach area. Doing this avoids back strain.
-Don’t twist to toss leaves over a shoulder or to the side, as this also places undue stress on your back. If you must take the leaves to the curb, you can put down a tarp, about 8×8 feet preferably with handles so you can rake the leaves onto it and then pull it to the curb.
-Take breaks when you rake. Don’t overdo it. If you feel twinges of stress in any body area, stop and stretch, then resume.
Even with these tips, injuries do occur. Visit my website at www.divine-chiropractic.com for office information regarding an evaluation of your condition. Don’t forget to make sure the inside of your home is clean too, by the professionals at Teresa’s Family Cleaning Service.