For the past month, I have been longingly looking out of my window and making a mental list of all the yard work that needs to be done this spring. This is a great time of year to get the family involved and have them help with the load of outdoor projects. There are some safety tips to keep in mind so that you can get your projects done safely without injuring yourself.
One of the biggest projects that many people have in the spring involves planting in their garden. It is very important to make sure you are equipped with the right tools before you begin. Have your shovels and other tools sharpened so they can move through the earth easier. This will be easier on your body and you will expend less energy and will be less likely to injure yourself. Make sure your shovels are long enough for you to avoid bending over too much and always avoid a swinging motion when moving dirt. Move slowly and carefully lift the dirt and place it aside.
Planting often involves lifting heavy items such as bags of soil or mulch, planters, or bushes. If possible, minimize the weight of a bag of soil by removing half the dirt into another pot. Use a wheelbarrow to transport soil or mulch instead of carrying the heavy bags. If you are moving planters around, try to reduce the weight by removing the dirt or use a small dolly with wheels to transport it to a new location.
Another project that many people do in the spring is move porch/patio furniture out of storage. These items can be very bulky and heavy which make them awkward to lift. Lifting improperly can lead to lower back strain or even sciatic pain. Bend your knees and lift more with your legs to help maintain the natural curve in your lower back and avoid any lifting and twisting. If possible, get a family member to help with these bigger items to decrease your risk of injury.
Even if you do not feel that you are exercising, doing outdoor yard work is a very physical activity. Make sure you take frequent breaks and keep yourself hydrated, especially when the weather warms up. It is important to listen to your body and slow down if you start feeling any aches and pains. Don’t hesitate to ask for help. Invite a family member, friend, or neighbor and have fun with it! Keep these tips in mind when getting the outside of your house ready for the spring and summer months. In the event you do suffer a few aches or pains, do not hesitate to schedule an appointment at your nearest Athletico for a free complimentary injury screening.