Yardwork is a great way to exercise and get much-needed sunlight. But like all exercise, it has to be done in a way that minimizes the risk of joint and soft tissue damage. We at Kosak Chiropractic in Fairfield are happy to assist people who have suffered a strain while raking, but we also want to ensure our patients are staying safe. Therefore, we thought we’d pass along some raking tips from the American Chiropractic Association.
You’ll want to use a rake that is long enough that you won’t need to bend down while using it, but that is lightweight. Dress in clothes that are warm, but breathable, and that allow you to move freely. Tie back your hair and remove dangling jewelry. You’ll need shoes that are supportive and have slip-resistant soles. To cut down on how much weight you’ll be lifting, try to only rake when the leaves are dry.
Prior to raking, do a five-minute warm-up of dynamic stretches, just as you would before any work-out. As you rake, stand in a scissor position, with one foot forward and one back. Switch which hand is higher on the rake about every five minutes, and as you lift the leaves, squat down or bend at your hips, not your waist. Test whether you’re able to easily lift the leaf bag before it’s filled to the brim. When you’re done raking, do a five-minute cooldown that also incorporates stretches. And remember, if you have any doubt about whether it’s safe for you to do yardwork, feel free to call us.