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Make Leaf Raking Less Back Breaking

While colorful fall foliage is a sight to behold, raking the blanket of leaves covering your yard is a pesky, not to mention back-breaking chore. On the flip side, if done right, you can get a great workout in while you’re cleaning up your yard.

Do a Pre-Rake Warm-Up

If your muscles are cold and tight, they are more prone to injury than if they are flexible and warmed up. Consider warming up for 5-10 minutes before raking. You can get your blood moving with a brisk walk, marching in place, or another full-body activity. You also can do some stretches, so there is less strain on muscles in your neck, shoulders and back. Side bends and knee-to-chest lifts are some good ones to perform.

Rake Downhill When Possible

Though leaves are light, they follow gravitational pull. When you’re raking on a slant, rake downhill whenever possible, and the job will go much more quickly and easily.

Change Your Positions

Consider varying your posture when raking. If you plant your foot and pull and twist in a repetitive motion, your back eventually will suffer in the form of a back sprain and strain. In addition, your neck and shoulders will be stressed. The solution is to move as many body parts as possible. The ideal raking position involves your ankles, knees, hips and arms.

Step forward with your right foot and backward with your left foot for 5-10 pulls, then reverse (left foot forward, right foot back). It’s also a good idea to pull the rake back with your entire body, not just your upper body.

Know Your Limits

It’s important to know your limitations and not overexert yourself. If you feel yourself getting tired, stop for the day. You have plenty of time this season to get the task accomplished. If you are using bags, avoid filling them too full. You should be able to pick up the bags easily.

If they are too heavy, you will strain your back.

Task Someone Else With the Job

If your kids are old enough, assign them the job of raking the leaves. Another option is paying someone else to do the job. Though you’ll be spending money on the latter, you’ll be saving your back and energy.

Get Adjusted

One of the most essential things you can do is see your chiropractor and get adjusted before a big job like leaf raking and afterward to ensure your spine is healthy.

Make an appointment today!

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