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Posted on 03-19-2017

Ah Spring! The time when the sun shines brightly on our face and we step out to the songs of the birds flying blissfully in the warm breeze. We look around to enjoy our beautiful surroundings...and we see all the remnants lefts from winter. We slip on our gardening gloves, grab a rake and head to the first flowerbed.

Five minutes later we're grasping our back. Boy that didn't last long! What happened?

Unfortunately we're experiencing what many people go through when getting out to do the spring yard work. We've slacked off over the last few months and our body's not ready for the strain. Or we push a little too hard with the wrong tools, trying to get it all done in a hurry.

Here are a few tips to help you get that yard cleaned up and still have your back intact when you're done:

A little light stretching before you start:

Yard work is exercise. In fact, it can be quite the workout. According to WebMD, yard work, ranging from landscaping to mowing the lawn, can burn anywhere from 200-600 calories. So it makes good sense to warm your body up before you put it through strenuous moves.

Good shoes:

Yard work generally involves stepping through rocks, mud and weeds, not to mention using tools that can take a toe off. It's important to have shoes that are up to the task. Good shoes are also important to maintain our back. Flip flops when doing most yard work are never a good idea. Not only is your foot exposed, it is not stable. A simple slip can do serious damage to the lower back and legs, not to mention possibly breaking a limb. Find a comfortable non-slip shoe with good arch support.

Form is everything:

One of the most aggravating moves on the back is the use of brooms, rakes and shovels. It's important to find a tool that will fit our body type, not the other way around. Posture is important, as well as bending your knees when lifting and pulling. Don't get caught up in cleaning and pull a muscle in the process.

Pace yourself:

Yard work is hard work. But it can also be rewarding, both aesthetically and physically. Remember to treat it as you would any workout. Give yourself plenty of breaks and stay hydrated.

Careful planning and diligence can help you enjoy the fruits of your labor without losing it to back pain. Contact us for more information on protecting your back in your everyday activities.

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