Tips to Stay Injury-Free While Spring Cleaning
Posted on May 19 2020
Now that the weather is warming up, we all want to get outside and start sprucing up the outside of our homes. This increase in physical work after months of being inside can lead to aches and pains. Here are a few tips to avoid pain and extra stress on your body as you start your spring clean-up.
Take a short walk around the block or walk around your yard, do some circular arm movements, gently bending forward and backward, and to each side. This will help get your blood circulating and warm your muscles to prepare them for work.
Before you start any yard work, make sure you have a glass of water. This will ensure your body starts with enough fluids and can afford to lose some through sweat. If it’s especially hot out, remember to consume water about every 30 minutes to maintain your fluid levels. The longer you are being physically active, the more this is important.
Wear Supportive Shoes
Wear shoes with good grip and support to keep you from slipping or falling. Good foot support will also keep your back from tiring as easily.
Wear Gloves and a Hat
To lower the risk for skin irritations, cuts, and certain contaminants wear gardening gloves. Wear a hat and sunscreen to protect your skin from the sun.
Use a Gardening Knee Pad
A garden pad made of foam is great for providing a bit of comfort to your knees when working in your yard and garden.
Use your whole-body weight to push the mower, rather than just your arms and back. If your mower has a pull cord, don't twist at the waist or yank the cord. Instead, bend at the knees and pull in one smooth motion.
Try to switch the side on which you operate the equipment as often as possible, and to balance the muscles being used, alternate your stance and motion frequently.
Bend at the Knees
As you pick up yard equipment, bags of dirt, or grass make sure you are bending at your knees and lift with your leg muscles.
Also, don't overfill bags so they become too heavy to lift. Try dragging the bags or using a wheelbarrow if you have to move them long distances.
Use Ergonomic Tools
Ergonomically designed tools are built to make gardening chores easier and reduce back wrist and hand strain.
Take a Break
It’s important to take a break from the activity of the day. Muscle fatigue may be felt when using any of these devices for an extended period of time.
Wear Hearing Protection
Hearing protection works by blocking the dangerous noise level and reduce it to a more manageable, less harmful level.
When you're done, do some more stretching to help relax tense muscles.
As with any physical exercise, if something hurts, stop doing it. If you think you injured yourself, give Fit Physical Therapy a call to address it before it gets worse. You only get one body, so it's always worth giving it the TLC it deserves.
Stay safe and strong,
Your Fit Physical Therapy Team
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