How to Rake Leaves Safely This Fall
It’s autumn again!
And while we’re lucky enough on Long Island to enjoy the crisp temperatures and sweater weather that fall affords us, it has a few drawbacks, too. Of course, who doesn’t love hot drinks, throwing on sweaters and sitting by a crackling fire? However, autumn also means a lot of leaves on the ground. So naturally, this also makes it the season of raking.
Nobody likes to spend their days raking leaves. It’s tedious and can be pretty exhausting, too. Also, a lot of homeowners have come to associate it with often-debilitating back pain. Any activity that requires repetitive actions can result in acute or chronic pain, and raking is no exception. In this post, we’ll list how you can safely rake your leaves without ending up in pain.
1. Wear Comfortable Clothes & Supportive Shoes
These two can be a real game-changer. Comfortable clothing and shoes that support your feet can do a lot to make raking less unpleasant and reduce aches. Also, wearing multiple layers of clothing can help if you’re feeling either too hot or cold. Additionally, a pair of work gloves is always a good idea to prevent blisters that can form on your hands.
2. Use a Tarp to Transport Leaves
Manually picking up large piles of leaves with a rake or shovel can seriously wreak havoc on your back. But, you can mitigate this issue with a simple item that most people have in their yard or garage: tarp. Simply rake the leaves onto the tarp and once you’re ready, take them wherever they need to be. It’s not only safer, but it’s a lot more time efficient as well.
3. Rake Downhill & Into the Wind
Of course, this isn’t possible 100% of the time, especially if your yard is flat without any sloping. However, if it is, let Mother Nature give you a helping hand. Ultimately, it’ll make the task much easier on you.
4. Maintain Good Posture
Back straight, knees bent…that’s how you want to do it. Basically, you should try to move your entire body closer to wherever you’re raking. This is better than constantly bending forward to get to those hard-to-reach places.
5. Let Your Legs Do Some Work
Lay your rake down on a small pile of leaves and walk backward, rather than using your arms the entire time. This will help conserve energy especially if you have a particularly large yard.
At Farmingdale Physical Therapy West, we want nothing more than our patients to remain healthy and pain-free. While raking leaves may not be the most taxing chore, it can still have painful consequences if done incorrectly. Following these simple measures will get you through autumn without any of the leg, elbow, back or arm pain that raking leaves can lead to.