It’s that time of year when there is lots of yard work to be done! The leaves look so pretty as they change colors but they sure do make a lot of extra work. Here are some tips to help you avoid all the “rakes and pains” 😉
First tip is to warm up. You may not think of yard work as exercise but it is and it can be quite strenuous. So warming up 5-10 minutes before you start the yard work is a good idea.
2.) Since yard work is basically an exercise workout, treat it like one with rest breaks, stretching and hydrating!
3.) Wear long sleeves and pants to protect your skin from the sun, bugs, scrapes and scratches. Wearing gloves can also be helpful.
4.) Supportive shoes! Closed toed and slip resistant are best.
5.) Use a rake or leaf blower that suits your strength and height.
6.) It is habit to use our dominant side to rake and do yard work with, but try to switch it up to even out your body and not overwork one set or side of muscles.
7.) Rake when the leaves are dry. You might be anxious to get those leaves but waiting until they are dry is safest. Wet leaves are much heavier and also more slippery. Be smart and kind to your body!
8.) Bend at your knees and hips when lifting to avoid straining your back. Position yourself close to the object you are lifting and have your feet at least shoulder width apart. Use your legs to lift and avoid twisting to avoid injury and back pain.
9.) Engage your core as you lift, carry, pull, rake etc. To engage your core muscles pull your belly button in toward your spine to tighten, but make sure to keep breathing as you engage it and do your yard work.
10.) Don’t overfill the leafbags, garbage cans etc! It may seem like a faster way to do it but it is not the safest way. Lighter loads are better for your body to lift, pull and carry and stay pain free.
11.) Stretch after you are done.
Enjoy the fresh air, sunshine and physical activity!