Preventing Aches and Pains When Raking Leaves

With shorter days and falling leaves blanketing the nation, many of us are rushing to take care of last-minute outdoor tasks before the coming winter months. Whether you love it or hate it, cleaning up fallen leaves is one of those tasks that most homeowners must tackle. Raking leaves is great exercise, but when not done carefully, it can lead to injuries due to the repetitive motions. Here are just a few simple tips for preventing aches and pains when raking leaves.

How to Prevent Aches and Pains When Raking Leaves

Stretch Before You Get Started

Before you pick up the rake, do about 10 to 15 minutes of stretching exercises. Focus on stretching your back, hips, shoulders and neck.

Use the Right Equipment

Look for a rake that is made of flexible plastic or steel or bamboo, and make sure it is proportionate to your body size. Selecting the right size helps ensure that your posture won’t have to overcompensate while you are working.

Opt for Appropriate Footwear

When you’re working in the yard, leave your flip flops inside – no matter how nice the weather is. Wear shoes or boots that have good support and slip-resistant soles.

Maintain Good Form

Avoid strain by keeping your legs bent and your weight centered. Rather than twisting at the waist while raking, put one foot in front of the other in line with the direction you are raking. This allows you to shift forward and backward more naturally.

Use Your Knees

When lifting to load leaves into yard bags, bend your knees and keep your back straight. Let your legs do the heavy lifting instead of your back.

Don’t Ignore Warning Signs

It’s normal to feel a little soreness and fatigue while engaging in physical activity. If, however, you feel serious pain, it’s important to stop right away. If you experience ongoing discomfort or pain following physical activity, have yourself checked for sprains and strains. If you’re in need of a physical therapist in Denver, contact Denver Physical Medicine. Call 303-757-7280.