The autumn season ushers in beautiful foliage and cool breeze. But as the leaves blanket the lawn, it also means serious yard work. For OHP Kelowna chiropractors, autumn is also the time of the year for increased complaints of back, neck and shoulder pain.
Raking those leaves doesn’t have to be a back-breaking task. Here are some tips to make yard work easier, safer and less time consuming:
Before you embark on some serious raking, take time to prepare your body. Go for a walk and perform some stretches to warm up your muscles. Instead of thinking of raking as an unpleasant task you want to get done as quickly as possible, think of it as a form of exercise.
Posture and Technique
Correct posture and proper body mechanics are critically important to reducing back strain. Try to maintain an upright position and bend through your hips and knees, not your back. Avoid twisting your back by making sure you are not twisting your spine while your feet are planted on the ground.
Pull the leaves directly toward you, without twisting as you pull. Tighten your abdominals to protect your back. If you must bend down to pick the leaves up to bag them, make sure you are bending at your knees, not through your spine.
Invest in the Right Rake
Whether you plan to go for plastic or metal, it’s the height of the rake that makes all the difference. Make sure the rake is tall enough for you so that you do not have to bend too far forward.
Take Frequent Breaks & Stay Hydrated
If you have a very large yard, don’t feel the need to accomplish raking all the leaves in one day. Break up the task into a few days to give your body time to rest. In addition, keep in mind that raking is an aerobic activity so make sure you are drinking plenty of fluids to stay hydrated.
Invest in a Blower
An electric blower or gas-powered blower can be a real life saver, especially for homeowners with large spaces to cover.