Autumn is a gorgeous time of the year to spend outside, but with the change in color and the eventual falling of the leaves comes a lot of clean up!
Raking leaves is an exhausting but necessary process as the grass underneath the leaves needs sunlight in order to go through photosynthesis.
It is important to be safe when raking. Picking the proper rake for your height and strength is critical in injury prevention and efficiency. Make sure when purchasing a rake that you are able to effectively go through a raking motion. If you are struggling in the store, you will struggle in your backyard.
Prior to raking the leaves, make sure you are properly hydrated and your muscles are warmed up through dynamic stretching with a focus on your upper body. Dynamic stretching includes active movement of the muscle groups you plan to use and is better than slow passive stretching which can lead to a muscle pull.
Wearing proper footwear, such as athletic sneakers or any shoes that are skid resistant, will help you avoid slips. Walking carefully on the ground where leaves are present is also a safe measure in preventing a dangerous fall. Wearing gloves during the raking process also will keep your stamina up as you will not develop blisters on your hands.
Remember to bend at the knees and not the waist when picking up anything in order to avoid back injuries. Know your limits, and if you need assistance moving patio furniture, ask for help!
As with any exercise, if you begin to get critically exhausted, it is time to take a break. In fact regular breaks during a raking session can be extremely beneficial as raking can be a strenuous aerobic exercise.
Although raking is necessary, injuries are not. Following these guidelines should keep you injury free into the upcoming holiday season!