Each year when the seasons change and temperatures go from sizzling-hot to mind-numbingly cold, millions of men, women and children around the United States take the opportunity to get outside and do some much-needed yard debris removal from around their lawn and back yard. For a lot of folks this type of work is actually a form of therapy, as it gives them a chance to put whatever is going on in their lives on the back burner while they work away. It’s also a great form of exercise.
But far too many people around the country end up injuring themselves when working in the yard. So strap on your work gloves, put on another layer of clothing, and read these tips to stay safe before you go outside to work.
Warm Up – This doesn’t just mean putting on a fall or winter jacket to block out the cold (although you should probably do this too), it actually means getting in a few stretches to loosen up a bit. This tip is especially pertinent for seniors or for those who are 65 and up. You may have to lift, bend, or pull, and doing so without warming up can cause strains and tears.
Watch Your Step – Yes, you probably know your yard like the back of your hand. But this doesn’t mean that you can’t trip over some of the debris that you’re trying to clean up, or forget about parts of your yard that may be uneven. Don’t rush to get your work done, as this increases the chances of mistakes and injuries from happening.
Knees, Not Waist – If you have back problems, you probably know not to bend or lift from the waist. Rather, try to use your knees to help you out. This can help prevent back strains and other serious injuries involving your spine. This may sound obnoxious to some, but you won’t think so when you’re in a chiropractor’s office waiting to be adjusted.
Taking a few precautionary measures like the ones illustrated above can go a long way in securing your health. When you go outside this fall or winter to rake or to clean up, remember to sprinkle a little bit of fun into the mix as well! Take the kids outside with you and have them do chores that aren’t too strenuous, like picking up sticks or making small piles of leaves.