For many of us, raking leaves in the fall is a necessary evil. Or, perhaps you enjoy the chance to get outside and enjoy the fresh air. Whatever the case, be sure you are taking the proper measures to help yourself avoid any muscle, bone or joint injuries.
Here’s a few tips to help you:
1) If it’s cold outside, stretch and warm up before going out. Cold makes muscles and tendons tighten up and become more prone to injury.
2) Wear the proper gear. Have sturdy, quality shoes to help keep you from slipping or falling. Wear gloves to help prevent blisters on your hands.
3) You might thinking grabbing a bigger, wider rake will help you get the job done faster. While that may be helpful, be sure that rake is light weight. Raking involves lots of repetitive motion – the lighter the rake, the less stress and strain.
4) Switch lead hands frequently. Again, using just one dominant arm creates repetitive stress on your back, neck, and shoulders.
5) Use your legs, not your back. Stay in normal, upright posture and use shorter strokes with the rake instead of long reaching strokes that may lead to a strain or pull.
6) Don’t overdue. If your body starts to ache, or you become fatigued, listen to your body. Fatigue makes you more prone to injury.