fitness

Raking Leaves Safely in Your Yard
BY SARAH KELLYIN FITNESS & EXERCISE

What a GORGEOUS Fall we are having…a nice reward after a somewhat blistering summer! Autumn months of course means falling leaves and seasonal yard clean-up. Yardwork can lead to lots of injuries if not done properly, preventing you from doing things you enjoy. I see everything from low back pain and disc ruptures, to neck strains, knee and shoulder tendonitis all from improper mechanics doing yardwork. So here are a few tips to keep your body happy while you keep your yard healthy:

Raking Leaves Safely

* Use the right rake: Make sure it’s not too heavy, light or wrongly shaped. Take frequent breaks, and switch sides often.
* Keep raking strokes short :This prevents over-reaching and excessive forward bending.
* Wear slip-resistant shoes: Leaves and grass are slippery when wet and cause a painful fall.
* Warm-up first: It’s like going out to exercise; take a brisk walk for 10 minutes first to get blood pumping.
* Wear gardening gloves: It’ll protect your hands and allow for a good grip.
raking leaves safely* Afterwards, do some back-bending stretches: Stand with your feet hip width, hands over your back pockets and lean backwards 10 times.

If things do hurt after working in the yard, generally, icing for 20 minutes helps. But if pain does persist beyond 24 hours, it’s best to have a chiropractor, physical therapist or other physician who specializes in the musculoskeletal system take a look. Enjoy the season!!

Don’t Just Sit There! STAND! Don’t Just Stand There, MOVE IT!
BY SARAH KELLYIN FITNESS & EXERCISE

Most of us at this point are aware on some cognitive level of the dangers of too much sitting. Reports of the adverse health effects and statistics about shortened life spans have been hitting the media lately.

A recent Australian study followed approximately 200,000 adults 45 years and older, and found that those who sat more than 11 hours/day were 40% more likely to die than those who sat less than 4 hours/day. Exercising didn’t help the 11-hour seat-huggers unfortunately.

In response to this ergonomic error, I’ve been hearing stories of patients creating standing desks at work. For those who are chained to a chair, glued to a computer, or shackled to a desk, this is a good option to start with.

Don't sit down

At home, it can be a little tougher to get out of the recliner or comfy couch, especially once we settle in for the night watching our favorite shows, reading a chapter or two, or surfing the web on our tablets, sometimes all three at the same time!

And it may not be enough to just stand up. As evolutionary luck would have it, we are built for MOVEMENT.

Our beginnings are fraught with running from the saber-toothed tiger, hunting what we could catch, and gathering edible plants for survival. NOT sitting to furiously type on a small keyboard attached to an artificially lit screen, or watching the weather report on the 10 o’clock news.

And evolution has really has gone through A LOT of trouble to make us efficient two-legged movers. In fact, of the 4000 species of mammals currently in existence, we are the ONLY ONE who is upright when walking. And, one of if not THE most efficient long-distance traveler by foot.

RAKING LEAVES SAFELY IN YOUR YARD

BY Sarah Kelly, DC
 

What a GORGEOUS Fall we are having…a nice reward after a somewhat blistering summer! Autumn months of course means falling leaves and seasonal yard clean-up. Yardwork can lead to lots of injuries if not done properly, preventing you from doing things you enjoy. I see everything from low back pain and disc ruptures, to neck strains, knee and shoulder tendonitis all from improper mechanics doing yardwork. So here are a few tips to keep your body happy while you keep your yard healthy:

Raking Leaves Safely

* Use the right rake: Make sure it’s not too heavy, light or wrongly shaped. Take frequent breaks, and switch sides often.
* Keep raking strokes short :This prevents over-reaching and excessive forward bending.
* Wear slip-resistant shoes: Leaves and grass are slippery when wet and cause a painful fall.
* Warm-up first: It’s like going out to exercise; take a brisk walk for 10 minutes first to get blood pumping.
* Wear gardening gloves: It’ll protect your hands and allow for a good grip.
raking leaves safely* Afterwards, do some back-bending stretches: Stand with your feet hip width, hands over your back pockets and lean backwards 10 times.

If things do hurt after working in the yard, generally, icing for 20 minutes helps. But if pain does persist beyond 24 hours, it’s best to have a chiropractor, physical therapist or other physician who specializes in the musculoskeletal system take a look. Enjoy the season!!