Spring has arrived and many people are starting to do some of their springtime chores. The big springtime cleaning events can be a variety of activities like weeding, gardening, clearing gutters, and more. You will probably be up and down stairs and ladders, pulling weeds, lifting boxes and heavy item, and more. For many people this may be the first time you have tried to exert your body all winter. There is a real possibility for serious injury if you are not ready to do the work. To avoid aches and pain, strains and sprains, or even a ruptured disc, here are a few quick tips you can use.
Before you use your muscles and body it is vital that you warm up to avoid injury. You need to get your body moving and focus on the big muscles groups like your hamstrings, back muscles, and your arms. Try going for a brisk walk around your block for 10 minutes. Make sure you pump your arms to get the blood moving up there as well. This extra blood flow to your muscles will help them move freely and will prevent injury.
We have all heard to lift with our legs and not our back, but how many of us actually do that? It will only take one improper lifting incident to tear a disc in your back causing serious injury and a possible surgical repair. To avoid those situations here is the step by step lifting process.
- Stand as close to the object as possible.
- Kneel next to the object with one knee on the floor.
- Tighten your abs and keep your back straight.
- Lift the object onto your knee.
- Use your other leg to stand, keeping your back straight, and don’t hold your breath.
It is as simple as that. Time is not wasted and your back is safe.
Stretching is an important part of the process. Stretching is recommended AFTER you do physical activity. Your muscles need to be warm before you try to stretch them. If you stretch before warming up or exercising(spring cleaning) then you can actually tear your muscle fibers causing less flexibility and pain. To stretch focus on the big muscles like your hamstrings, shoulders, pecs, and back. Pull on the muscle until you feel tension and hold it for at least 30 seconds.Â If you feel any pain back off on the tension. Do not pump the stretch, just hold it steady and focus on breathing.
Think of spring cleaning as more than a chore, think of it as exercise. Warming up, using proper lifting technique, and stretching are only a few simple things you can do to help your body avoid injury. Enjoy the warm weather and good luck getting your home in order.