Blue skies. Blooming trees. Fresh air. Warmer temperatures. Spring is always a nice change after freezing and dreary winters. With this springtime comes spring cleaning. According to a Harvard study, a heavy spring-cleaning session is equivalent to an intense tennis or badminton game.
As you know, prevention is better than cure. Poor posture, lack of warm-up or exercise, and an overall poor health condition can result in pain or injuries.
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Before you engage in your annual spring cleaning – whether it’s rearranging furniture, mowing your lawn, or clearing the gutters – read these orthopedic physical therapy tips for a safer spring cleaning activity.
Remember to Warm Up
A safe and proper workout session must always start with a warm-up and end with a cool down. Warming up before you do any physical activity is just as essential as the actual physical activity or workout itself. Doing warm-up exercises significantly help prevent injuries.
While it’s advisable to work hard and push yourself, you must not forget to exercise caution. Listen to your body and know its limits. If you need to, take some rest so you won’t feel overly exhausted.
You wouldn’t want to overwhelm yourself and go overboard then be incapable of doing fun physical activities the rest of the season.
To guarantee a safe workout, don’t hesitate to consult your trusted orthopedic physical therapy clinic.
Additionally, wear clothing that allows for easy and comfortable movement with a fabric that is not heavy. Feeling comfortable as you do your cleaning tasks will allow you to focus on the physical activities – instead of minding your attire.
Here are additional injury prevention guidelines you can follow as you do your spring cleaning. In case you require orthopedic physical therapy services to help you do your regular, daily tasks, our clinic is available to help.
- Always keep yourself hydrated throughout the cleaning period.
- As you do your cleaning, your muscles will be tense. Remember to take frequent breaks to relax them.
- Avoid making the same motions repeatedly. These can lead to low back pain, muscle strains, or sprains.
- As much as possible, maintain a good posture as you do all your activities.
- Don’t twist while you’re raking, bending, or thatching. As you shift your weight from side to side, remember to use your legs.
- Don’t twist or bend too much if you’re lifting heavy objects. An excellent tip to remember is to use your legs (rather than your back) when lifting heavy objects.
- If you’re doing any gardening or yard work, use stools and kneeling pads. Also, only do yard work when it’s dry.
- Avoid overfilling gardening bags or tarps; lifting these heavy items can stress your spine.
- If you’re working on uneven or rough surfaces, don on skid-resistant footwear.
- Use a step stool or ladder when cleaning the top of your windows or any high-level areas of the home.
- Additionally, make sure that you’re using the ladder with the correct height. This will help decrease the risk of falling.
- When you vacuum, move your body and feet – as opposed to only moving forward and sideways with your trunk and arms.
- Extension cords may cause tripping or falling. Be cautious of them when you see them laying around.
- Don’t overwork yourself to the point of severe exhaustion. Always listen to your body. If you notice any shortness of breath, light-headedness, chest pain, heavy breathing, or sudden headache, stop what you’re doing and get in touch with your doctor.
There’s a sense of accomplishment and gratification when we finish our annual spring cleaning. However, don’t compromise the safety and health of your body. While you are determined to push through and get your spring cleaning done, remember that you may get burned out.
When you’re tired, you forget to have good posture. You forget to remember to lift with your legs. You can’t maintain the right balance. Most injuries happen when you’re fatigued or rushing to get the job completed. Take frequent breaks to ensure you’re injury free.
If you have any questions about form, body mechanics, exercises to improve your level of function, or how orthopedic physical therapy can benefit you, please reach out to us. We’ll be happy to discuss your condition with you.