If you’re a homeowner, doing yard work is just something that you do to maintain your home. You may even enjoy it as a relaxing, meditative activity. Doing your own yard maintenance keeps your home attractive and provides a great source of exercise.
But strenuous yard work can lead to health and back problems if you’re not careful. With a little preparation and some common sense, you can be productive in the yard and avoid unnecessary injury. Learn to stay safe. Follow these easy yard work tips, which allow you to have a great yard without overexerting your body.
Preparing for Your Yard Work
If you know the weather on yard work day is going to be hot, consider doing your work early in the morning or in the early evening. Avoiding the heat of the day makes it easier to stay hydrated and avoid exhaustion. When you’re not fighting the sun, you can get more accomplished.
Wear shoes with good support, not flip-flops. The right shoes help relieve back strain while you work in the yard. Also, be sure to drink plenty of water before getting out there. Rehydrate afterward as well. Another of the common-sense, easy yard work tips is to take breaks from working to get a drink and rest in the shade.
Stretch Your Muscles
One of the best easy yard work tips is to do some stretching and warm-up exercises before hitting the yard, especially if you’re preparing to do some heavy work. Walk around the yard, do some jumping jacks and stretch your arms and back. These simple exercises warm up your muscles.
You don’t have to spend a lot of time exercising beforehand. Just five or 10 minutes of stretching helps reduce your risk of a pulled muscle. A few minutes of light exercise can prevent a back injury.
Using Your Outdoor Equipment
Use shoulder straps for heavy tools like your leaf blower. Straps balance the weight around your body so that the equipment you’re using produces less strain on your back. Also, when pushing the lawn mower, use your whole body to move the mower instead of just using your arms and back. Using your legs to push the mower lowers the amount of pressure on your spine.
If you’re using equipment for a long period of time, alternate your stance or switch sides periodically to avoid strain. One of the easiest yard work tips to avoid injury is to shift your body position occasionally so you aren’t straining the same muscles over a long period of time.
A Few More Easy Yard Work Tips
Although you may want to get your yard work done as quickly as possible, remember to take breaks when necessary. Don’t push yourself to exertion. If you experience aching or fatigue, take a break to stretch or just relax for a little bit before getting back to work.
Be familiar with your limits. Listen to your body. A quick break can help your body recover so you can finish your yard work safely. Follow these easy yard work tips, and your yard will look great in no time. When in doubt, ask a spine specialist at the Southeastern Spine Institute how much is too much.