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Are you planning to do the math?  Don’t get into trouble |  Health beat

Are you planning to do the math? Don’t get into trouble | Health beat

  • October 21, 2021
A rake is depicted in a pile of leaves.
Be careful with your posture and equipment as you rake and you will likely save yourself some pain. (For Spectrum Health Beat)

Jumping into piles of leaves can be great fun, but raking them up afterward can cause back pain.

Each year, more than 76,000 Americans are injured breaking leaves or using other manual gardening tools.

One reason these injuries can occur is because leaf raking forces people to use several different muscle groups, the center explained.

However, certain precautionary measures can help ensure that those who work in the garden avoid these injuries.

Sports medicine and physical rehabilitation specialists recommend the following steps:

  • Warm up and cool down. As with any physical activity, it is important to warm up before raking leaves. It’s also a good idea to stretch first. Try torso rotation, shoulder and wrist stretches. When you finish the rake, remember to cool down and stretch again to release muscle tension.
  • Remove dirt. Before raking, be sure to remove sticks or other debris to avoid falling.
  • Use the right equipment. Your rake should be the correct size for your size and strength. Wear gloves to avoid blisters.
  • Look at your shoes. Make sure your shoes are non-slip so you don’t slip and fall.
  • Avoid turning movements. Shift your weight with your legs. Don’t throw leaves over your shoulder. Rake towards you, not away from you. This relieves your back muscles.
  • Protect your back. Bend your knees with your back straight to pick up sheets or bags, and avoid bending over. This will reduce the pressure on your back. Leaf sacs shouldn’t be too heavy so you can pick them up without undue effort.
  • Take breaks. Rake is an aerobic activity. Make sure you take breaks and drink plenty of water. Chest pain or shortness of breath can be a sign of a life-threatening emergency. If you experience these symptoms, call 911 right away.

Thank You For Reading!


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