By Jeff Sheppard 26 Sep 2023 no comment 242 Views

Ready to rake?  Once peak foliage has passed, autumn’s splendor will be on the ground, covering our lawns and driveways.

Raking your lawn involves a number of different activities including:  bending, twisting, reaching, and lifting.  Improperly performing these activities can lead to injuries.

Be ready before you rake

Wait for the full fall. Before you reach for your rake, wait for the full fall of leaves. Aside from some spot-clearing on pathways, it’s usually better to plan one big rake job. Quick, small clean-ups may tempt you to take safety shortcuts that could spell trouble in the form of slips, falls, and sore muscles.  However, if one big rake job is just too fatiguing given the size of your yard and/or your physical fitness, then break it up into “chunks,” take your time, and rake thoroughly.

Dress appropriately. Dress in layers as sweat can build up quickly. Wear gloves to avoid getting blisters. Wear well supported shoes with skid resistant soles to decrease the risk of falls.

Use the right tools. Select a rake that is the proper height and size for your strength. Ergonomic rakes are also available, specially designed for comfort and ease of use to prevent injury.

Do a pre-rake warm-up. It may not seem like a workout, but you can burn nearly 300 calories during an hour of raking. Walk around a bit before you start so your blood gets flowing. Do a couple of stretches to prevent straining the muscles of your shoulders, neck and back. Side bends and knee-to-chest lifts will help prepare you for all the raking, bending, and lifting you’ll do.

While you rake

Be posture conscious. Watch your posture while raking. Raking while hunched over puts extra stress on your low back, which can lead to an increased soreness.

Use proper lifting technique. Try not to overfill your bags with leaves, especially if leaves are wet. Twisting movements can strain the muscles in your back. Also, try varying movements and sides often to avoid overusing muscle groups.

Don’t overdo it. Raking leaves is an aerobic exercise. Don’t rush it! The leaves aren’t going anywhere! Take a rest every 10-15 minutes. Sip on water to stay hydrated and stretch to release tension you may have built up.

Regular chiropractic maintenance care can minimize your risk of injury.  Do you have your next appointment scheduled?  If not, call Sheppard Chiropractic Centre at 506 635-8182 or 506 847-7172.

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