Fall is well on its way! The leaves are turning beautiful colors and will soon fall to your lawn, waiting to be raked. Raking is a great way to spend a crisp fall afternoon, but is also one of the easiest ways to hurt your back and lay yourself up inside. Follow these easy tips when you head out to rake:
- Raking is actually a form of exercise. Treat it like a workout by getting your muscles ready.
- Be sure to target the muscles in your lower back as well as your arms and legs.
Watch your posture
- Your back has natural curves that distribute your weight properly and make it easier for you to move.
- If you hunch over, you’ll diminish the helpful curve of your lower back and put a big strain on it. Now, it is not really possible to rake while standing perfectly upright, so what can you do?
- Fight the urge to rake furiously until you’ve made a big pile and your back is screaming at you. Instead, take it slowly and steadily. Rake and then straighten up. Repeat.
- When you’re surrounded by leaves, it is easy to want to twist and rake them all. In general, this is not a bad idea. However, if you keep your feet planted and twist with your lower back, you are making your lower back work too hard. Instead, try to twist from your hips and feet, shuffling a little to keep yourself mobile.
- Depending on your lifestyle, raking may be the equivalent of a high-intensity workout for you, and high-intensity workouts are common culprits when it comes to injuries.
- Even if you are active, remember that you do not have to rake the entire yard in 15 minutes.
- Take breaks and make sure to hydrate.
At Evansville Chiropractic, we are committed to keeping you moving with the best chiropractic care and advice. If you have hurt your lower back or you simply want your back assessed, make an appointment with your Evansville chiropractor today!