The start of autumn not only signals milder days and leaves turning color, but it also ushers in that one inescapable fall chore: raking fallen leaves. Left on the ground, dead leaves can rot and ruin both the aesthetics and health of your yard.
Raking leaves may seem like an easy task, but it routinely sends scores of people to Union City urgent care centers for back injuries and lower back pain. This is not surprising since many people get into awkward positions, force their muscles, and forget to maintain proper posture during the task, all of which increase the risk for back injuries.
Don’t want to be a part of that statistic? Following a few simple tips can save you a lot of trouble during and after you accomplish your annual autumn cleanup.
Begin with 10-Minutes of Stretching
Look at raking leaves as a workout— you work different muscle groups and use heavy tools to complete the task. As with any workout, a warm up is something you should never leave out before raking leaves. It loosens up your body, making you less prone to back injury.
Wear the Right Outfit
Raking leaves can take several hours, depending on your pace and technique. You’ll want to be comfortable and safe throughout the whole activity. For one, wear slip-resistant footwear so you get a good grip on the ground even when it’s wet.
Gloves are also great for getting a firm hold on the rake. Wear comfortable clothes which will allow you to move freely. All of these lessen your risk for falls, and potential back strain.
Apply Proper Technique
Do you think raking leaves is as easy as gathering them up into a pile? Without the right technique, you’re making your back vulnerable to undue stress and pain. Bend lightly at the knees and keep your back upright. Switch hands every so often so they don’t get overworked. Avoid sudden twisting, bending, and lifting movements to avoid straining your back too much.
Furthermore, don’t throw leaves over your shoulder as the twisting movement required for this can cause serious back injury. Finally, use a leaf rake that’s perfectly proportioned for your height and weight to prevent unnecessary stress on your back.
These tips can increase your efficiency and protect your back from injury as you rake leaves for a cleaner yard. Yet, accidents can happen when you least expect them, and when they do, you should go immediately to a Union City walk in clinic, such as U.S. HealthWorks, for pain relief and treatment.
7 Tips for Raking Leaves Like a Pro, popularmechanics.com
Raking Leaves, aarp.org