Along with the beauty of the fall... the changing leaves and vibrant colors, comes the extra work!
What can seem like a small chore, can turn into a painful experience if you're not careful. Between the repetitive motion, twisting, bending, lifting and carrying; you are sure to get quite a workout.
Just be careful that you don't over-do it! Bend at the knees, lift only what you can carry comfortably
and don't twist yourself.
To minimize and prevent injuries, The American Chiropractic Association offers the following tips:
Take a short walk to stimulate circulation. Do stretching exercises throughout your time outside. Knee-to-Chest pulls, trunk rotations and side bends with hands above your head and fingers locked. After you are done raking, stretch your muscles again to relieve tension.
Walk through your yard first, paying special attention to fallen branches, tree limbs or debris. Picking them up beforehand prevents tripping and falling. Also watch out for large rocks, tree stumps and uneven surfaces.
Stand as straight as possible, and keep your head up as you rake. Avoid looking down as this can strain your neck and upper back.
Wear supportive shoes! Good foot and arch supports can stop some of the strain from affecting your body.
When raking, use a “scissors” stance: right foot forward and left foot back for a few minutes, then reverse, putting your left foot forward and right foot back. This will help you stabilize yourself.
Use your whole body weight, not just your arms and back.
Drink plenty of water. Hydrating your muscles will help avoid cramping.
And of course, come in for your regular adjustments to keep your spine in optimal health!