The first day of fall has come and gone so we can start that the leaves will start to fall and many of us will be doing some serious raking. With bone and muscle health in mind, this blog will give you ideas on how to rake without hurting yourself!
By following these five simple tricks, yard maintenance will cause minimal discomfort:
a. Before you even pick up the rake make sure to properly prepare your body and warm up. These are good stretches to practice:
a. Drinking lots of water before, during, and after putting your body to work helps promote healthy muscles and bone strength as well as helps with recovery post activity.
3. Use the Whole Body
a. Changing positions while raking will help ensure that not only one side of your body is working (this can lead to fatigue, discomfort, possibly inflammation, and pain). For example, do ten raking pulls with your left leg in front and then switch to the right leg for the next ten!
4. Bend at the Knees
a. Make sure to bend at your knees rather than your lower back while raking and lifting.
b. Pivot your entire body when moving leaves around rather than twisting only your upper body (this is VERY important)
5. Frequent Breaks
a. Take a break every 15 minutes! Giving your soft tissues (muscles and ligaments) a break will ensure that they are not being overused and will decrease your chances of an overuse injury. Remember the leaves can still be raked after a 10-minute rest and your body will thank you for it!
Muscle and bone health does not have to be jeopardized just because the leaves are piling up. By following these tips your yard and body can be in great condition!