It’s that time of year again, where the leaves are starting to fall. To avoid lower back injury while still getting the job done, below are some tips to help you rake without any ache:
- Get warm: it is generally important to start with a short warm up before doing any sort of activity. The best way is to take a quick walk, for about 5-10 minutes, to allow your muscles to warm up. This will help ease you into the tasks ahead.
- Stay grounded: choose the proper footwear for raking leaves, especially if you have a lot of leaves in your yard. Raking leaves may take some time, so choosing shoes or boots with proper arch support that won’t leave your feet tired is the best idea. Also consider footwear with some grip on them if you are raking wet leaves, as you do not want to slip and hurt your back in the process.
- Be rake ready: choose a rake that will accommodate your body size. If a rake is too long or too short, that will change your posture and cause strain on your muscles during the task.
- Handling the rake: alternating your hands to change your raking arm will help prevent strain on one side of your body over the other. Wearing gloves will also help prevent blisters.
- Posture aware: raking can be an awkward task, which is why it is important to be aware of your body’s position. Otherwise, this can cause strain in your muscles and result in an injury. It is best to have your knees slightly bent and your weight centered. Try and reach with your arms more than your back. When you are ready to bag those leaves, always bend at the knees and squat before lifting the bags off the ground. Do not make bags of leaves too heavy and prepare small piles of leaves to make it easier for you.
- Drink water and rest: we all like to get tasks done as quickly as possible, but with physical demanding chores, is best to take breaks and stay hydrated. Water will keep those raking muscles working at their best. Taking breaks lowers the chance of an injury.
- Accessorize: if possible, use a light-weight leaf blower if you have one to help save time and keep your spine in line. Consider using a tarp to move the leaves around. This avoids unnecessary bending over to pick up leaves and put in bags.
If you have hurt your back in the process of raking or gathering leaves, make sure to visit us in Calgary at AvenidaWellness and we will give you a free back alignment!
Call us at 403-271-6611 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org!