Great seasons come with great responsibility. Such is the case with autumn and leaves. The colors of autumn are pleasing, but no matter their color, leaves strewn across the yard are annoying. They signal the need to start raking.
This fall activity involves the process of raking, bagging, blowing and mulching. Because every muscle in your arms, legs, back, neck, and shoulders are used, you’re exposed to risks of body pain and injuries that can send you to a Federal Way urgent care clinic. You can, however, avoid such visits by knowing and following the proper body movements when raking.
The first thing to do before raking leaves is to warm up. Light stretches for 5-10 minutes alert your body to the movements it is about to undertake. Walk around the yard to loosen and warm your leg muscles.
Rotating your back and neck gently will help prepare those muscles for the activity. Also, windmill your shoulders to loosen your upper torso muscles. All these exercises will prevent your muscles and joints from being overtaxed.
After the raking session, repeat the stretching routines to cool down correctly. Stretching your muscles and joints before taking a rest will also prevent muscle strain.
It doesn’t really matter whether you are right-handed or left-handed. You need to switch hands frequently when raking in order to avoid too much strain on just one side of your shoulders, neck, and back. Rake left-handed for ten minutes and then use the other hand for 10 minutes to ease the repetitive stress applied to only one side of your body.
Use Your Legs
Instead of bending and lifting with your back, use your legs to avoid injuries. Do not stretch your arms and back excessively just to reach leaves that are far from you. It is best to remain in an upright position and conduct short strokes with the rake.
You will have to move with your legs more often to get to where the leaves are, but that’s fine because your legs can take more pressure than your back and arms.
Proper body movements and raking techniques are essential in cleaning your yard this fall without becoming injured. But, if you are not an active person and raking is the only exercise you receive, expect some soreness and pain. Fortunately, you can have find treatment from a provider of urgent care in Federal Way.
AVOID LEAF RAKING INJURIES!, westhartfordchiropractors.com
Raking Leaves, aarp.org