Put a Little Spring in Your Step with Yard Work

As we head into early spring and prepare to clean up our lawns and gardens, it’s a good idea to remember how to take care of our bodies and avoid injuries as we bring in the new season. The best way to start tackling your spring cleaning is to make a written list of all the chores you want to accomplish both inside and outside. Making a list helps organize and prioritize the tasks needed to be done. It is important to spread out your projects to minimize aches and pains.  Below are some ways to avoid injury while crossing off all those items on your “to-do” list.

Body Mechanics- From cleaning and decluttering the inside of your home, to raking leaves and pruning bushes, proper body mechanics during any type of spring cleaning is very important. Remember these tips to avoid achy backs and knees:

  • Always maintain good posture. Keep your back straight and your head up.
  • Lift with your legs, not your back, and bend with your knees when lifting.
  • Be conscious of the items you are lifting and how heavy they are. Always carry items close to your body.
  • Use your body weight to move objects. For example, when pushing a lawnmower or wheelbarrow, use your body weight to move instead of your arms and back.
  • Use good quality and the proper tools. Consider using ergonomic tools that have extra padding, large or curved handles as they place less stress on your muscles and joints.

Give Yourself a Break- It is important to not tackle your entire to-do list in one day. Doing so will cause fatigue and may ultimately put you more at risk for an injury. When tackling your spring cleaning remember these few important tips:

 

  • Take breaks from working and pace yourself. When you feel your body is tired, slow down and take a rest. While resting take some time to admire the work you have accomplished thus far.
  • Drink lots of water, especially on hotter days. Staying hydrated helps to keep your body functioning better and longer while working.
  • Choose a few different tasks instead of just one to do that day. Changing tasks throughout the day helps prevent repetitive strain injury of specific muscle groups.

 

Set reasonable goals and pace yourself, it’s easy to try and get all of your yard work done in one day, especially when the weather is good outside and it’s your only free day of the week. Try to break up the work that you want to get done over a few days or a couple of weekends. This way, you are efficient and energized when you are working and you don’t risk overdoing it.

 

Posted in: Physical Therapy

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Monmouth Health and Life Magazine Reader's Choice Award 2016 Winner