Re-LEAF Yourself of Back Pain!
Fall is a beautiful time of year with all the incredible colours around us, but it can also be a painful time for a lot of people – as they hurt themselves trying to clean up the leaves. Raking is a physical activity that can help people stay active, but it can also lead to pains and strains if you don’t do it right.
So we have some simple ways to take the pain out of raking:
Warm Up – A simple 10 minute walk around your house, neighbourhood or on the spot will get your muscles warmed up and ready to go!
Stretch – Easy stretches of your arms, wrists, sides and legs can go a long way to getting you ‘raking ready’. Remember to relax, and don’t overextend yourself.
Keep Moving – A lot of people plant their feet, then twist, turn and overreach in different directions to get those pesky leaves. This can lead to strains in your mid and lower back. Keep the rake handle close to your body to help maintain good posture throughout.
Take Breaks – You don’t have to rake the whole yard in 20 minutes. Listen to your body. Take frequent breaks and keep your body hydrated. The discs in your spine need water to keep them cushiony and functioning properly.
And remember when bagging those leaves – make it manageable! Keep your back straight and use your legs to do the lifting. If the leaves are wet, it will make the bag deceivingly heavy and awkward to lift. When it’s all done, take a few moments to cool down and the same light stretches you started with!