Chiropractic Tips for Raking Fall Leaves

‘Tis the season of effervescent colors on the trees and procrastinating thoughts of the rake in the shed. After the beauty of the bright oranges, magnificent reds, and rolling yellows disappears from the trees, it’s time to stop procrastinating and grab the rake.

Raking is an invigorating connection to nature for many people; for others, it is merely a chore. Either way, raking is indeed a laborious activity bound to create havoc on your back. If raking is on your to-do list, check out the chiropractor tips of dos and don’ts below to maximize results and minimize injuries; pain and soreness.

Use the Right Rake

Don’t use ‘a boulder’ unless you are ‘a Goliath.’ Pick the right rake for your size. Some rakes are big and awkward, even heavy. Find a rake that feels comfortable to you. Investing in a rake that fits you can be a fun way to jump-start your project.

Wear the right attire

To help minimize blisters when raking, wear gloves. Wear comfortable, loose fitting clothing that does not restrict your movement. Wear shoes with a good rubber sole and arch support, Avoid wearing flip-flops. Running shoes or hiking boots are best.

Warm Up and Stretch

Raking involves many major muscle groups and some ‘not so major’ muscles. In fact, raking uses muscles that you may not have used intensely in a while. Chiropractors stress that it is easy to strain muscles that are weak or unprepared for the task, especially if the muscles haven’t been properly warmed up. Take a five to ten minute walk around the yard or the block to get the blood flowing to your muscles. Gently stretch the muscles in your legs, back, shoulders, and wrists, spending particular attention on any muscles that feel tight.

Stay energized and hydrated

Raking is a labor-intensive task. Eating a light but satisfying snack can help provide the energy you need to accomplish your goal. Bananas are great snacks. They provide potassium, which can help prevent muscle cramps. Drinking plenty of water is also always recommended when exerting extra energy. Consider adding some zing to your project by making homemade lemonade. The best lemonade is water splashed with a bit of fresh lemon and a dash of sugar. Don’t overdo the sugar. The lemon will invigorate your spirit and taste buds and the sugar will help give you the natural glucose you need to keep your energy up, without the use of caffeine or carbonated drinks.

Pay attention to your movements

Raking is an easy way to cause pain, especially back, neck, or shoulder pain. Chiropractors recommend avoiding twisting or reaching to far out in front of you with the rake. Keep your raking action close to your core and in a straight line. Bend with your knees and not your waist. Take frequent breaks to walk around and stretch to avoid overuse. This is a good time to make that lemonade.

Reward Yourself

When the day is done and the leaves are raked, reward yourself with a warm bath and a check mark of completion on your to-do list.

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