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Leaves are Falling: Things to consider when raking them up.

Leaves are Falling: Things to consider when raking them up.


It’s October and the fall colors are at their peak. It won’t be long before the leaves fall and clean up must begin. Raking leaves is hard work, but unfortunately it’s work most of us don’t spend time preparing our bodies for. Here are some tips to consider when preparing for the clean up.

1. Warm up before you rake the leaves. Raking leaves is moderate exercise, so give your muscles a fair chance at staying healthy. Walk, move, get your heart rate up for 10 minutes before starting. Warming up is not stretching. Stretching is for later.

2. Find a rake your size. This will make working with the rake much more efficient.

3. Wear shoes that won’t slip in order to prevent falls.

4. When picking up leaves remember to keep your back straight and use your legs.

5. When reaching and pulling with the rake, avoid twisting your back. Walk with the rake to get closer to the leaves you are trying to reach.

6. Remember to switch sides, so that you stay even.

7. Use props! It’s helpful to use buckets, tarps, boxes or whatever you need to in order to make moving the leaves easier.

8. Keep the loads light. Over loading your leaf bag, will only put more strain on your back and potentially injure you. Make several smaller trips instead of less heavily loaded trips.

9. Pace yourself. The leaves aren’t going anywhere but on your lawn. You could do a section at a time over several days.

10. Stretch sore muscles after you’ve worked so hard. Using a foam roller or lacrosse ball can be helpful for alleviating sore muscles as well.

Please be careful! If you have specific questions about lifting, raking technique or how to modify things if you have a movement challenge, consider coming in for an evaluation with one of our orthopedic clinical specialists.

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