It’s that time of year again. Those colorful leaves falling from the trees will soon leave you with a big mess on the lawn and a new chore to add to your to-do list. Before grabbing the rake, take these tips into consideration to avoid the soreness and injury that commonly accompany leaf raking.

1. Stretch

It may not seem like a workout, but leaf raking can be a very strenuous activity, especially if you’re not regularly active already. Be sure to do a quick warm-up to get your muscles ready and stretch to limit soreness in your neck, shoulders, and back.

2. Use the Right Equipment

Make sure you’re using a rake that’s the correct size for your height. A rake that’s too small will cause you to bend over more often and put more stress on your back. Wear gloves to protect your palms.

3. Use Correct Posture

Keep your back straight and upright. You’ll want to bend at the knees – not the waist – when picking up your piles and always avoid twisting your torso.

4. Switch Arms Often

Avoid an overuse injury with your dominant arm by switching sides frequently.

5. Take Breaks

Remember to give yourself a little recovery time now and then and stay hydrated. Taking frequent breaks will help you avoid exhaustion and strain.

As with any form of physical activity, listen to your body. Any sudden, sharp, or persistent pain is not normal. Stay safe by following these tips and be sure to give our office a call if you experience any neck, shoulder, or back pain this fall.