If you’re anything like me, you’re probably wondering where your summer went. I had so many plans of cleaning, organizing, and getting rid of the last box I have yet to unpack after moving to Fayette County over a year ago! Now that fall is starting, there are so many other things that need to be done, I’m not sure I’ll be able to get to that box until next summer. A lot of the work that needs to be done this time of year is outside. Preparing plants for the cooler months, bringing in yard decorations, and yes those leaves are all things that will be occupying time on the weekends for the next few weeks. Though this is a necessary evil, there are few things that might make this time a little more enjoyable.
Don’t procrastinate. If my mom reads this, she’ll just laugh. I have a procrastination problem! When it comes to doing yard work, this is a bad idea. Bending, lifting, moving, etc. etc. all in one weekend is going to cause a lot of muscle soreness and potential other problems. By doing small amounts of work over the course of a few weekends, you’ll save yourself a lot of pain. Also, if you do have some pain after the weekend, waiting a few days before you work again will hopefully give it time to heal.
It may seem silly to stretch before doing yard work, but stretch before doing yard work! Chances are, you’ll be bending, twisting, and lifting more than you may be used to. Stretching will help warm up the muscles you’ll be using and that will help prevent any muscle strains. One simple leg stretch is just bending over to touch your toes. While doing this, there should be a slight bend in the knees. Don’t worry if you can’t touch your toes, just getting into that position will help stretch the back of your legs. Another stretch you can do is, put one hand on your hip, stretch one arm up over your head, and lean side ways towards the hand on the hip. Switch sides, and repeat. This will help stretch muscles along your sides and back. Hold each of these stretches for about 10 seconds. You should also stretch after work, too. If you were to strain something while working, stretching after work may help prevent discomfort. Strained muscles respond well to ice, so if you do have sore spots, try ice first. If you are still sore after a couple of days, call the office and make an appointment to make sure you didn’t do something more severe than a strain.
As much as it might seem like an oxymoron, yard work can be fun! Get the entire family involved in the chores. Not only will the work get done faster, but you’ll have fun time with your family. If your family doesn’t live close by, don’t be afraid to reach out to other organizations that might be able to help. While in high school, my church youth group had sign up sheets for anyone who needed some extra help around their house. Usually in the fall, we raked leaves and cleaned out gutters of the elderly population of our church. We had such a blast hanging out and being silly while helping out those in our congregation. Ask your local church to see if this could be an option for you.
These are just a few ideas to help make this season easier to handle! If you have any questions or concerns about your health, posture, or any other nagging injury don’t hesitate to call the office. I can sit down with you and give you some stretching options, or give you pointers on helping improve your posture.
Happy Raking!!~Dr. Stacy