You are using an outdated browser. Please upgrade your browser to improve your experience.
by Joseph Musolino, DC
Raking leaves is a chore but it’s great exercise and an even a greater calorie burn (350 calories per/hour on average). But if you have back, neck or shoulder problems there are a few steps you need to protect yourself while trying to maintain a nice looking lawn. Chiropractor Joe Musolino instructs you in the DO’s and DON’T’s in proper use of the rake.
Despite the shorter days, cooler weather, and the eminent arrival of winter, fall is the favorite season for many people. This can be explained by the breathtaking beauty of nature as we are immersed in a palette of colors that never ceases to amaze. Eventually, though, all good things must come to an end and thus begins the least favorite aspect of the season: cleaning up all those dead leaves piling up in the yard! Is there anything worse than spending the bulk of your weekend all bundled up on a dreary autumn day, exposed to the elements, laboring to rake and bag all those wet, heavy leaves? Makes you long for winter and the ease of clearing ten inches of snow from your driveway with your two stage snow blower equipped with auto-turn steering and heated handles doing all the work! Unfortunately getting your yard to look more pristine than your neighbors, at least for a few hours until those leaves slowly flutter back down, is not your only worry. Preventing your lower back from acting up and keeping you from tackling the next round of never-ending leaf accumulation is right up there. Especially if your kids have soccer all day, are off to college, or flew the nest years ago!
So how can you keep your lower back from making your day even more miserable than it was when all you had to deal with was a few hours of yard work? Here’s a list of do’s and don’ts to keep your back on track.
So what are you waiting for? Get outside and enjoy the surrounding scenery, and seasonal weather, if you’re lucky, while also gaining the benefit of burning a minimum of 350 calories per hour! Now you have no excuse for sitting lazily on your couch (which by the way burns only 68 calories per hour!) watching through the window as the leaves pile up. With proper preparation and technique you can turn your yard into the envy of the neighborhood without injuring yourself. For the time being that is. “Leave” the back problems (get it?) for your next-door neighbor to deal with after they clean up their yard the next day and you realize that you need to get back out there once again. And why is it that people actually like fall?