February is the “longest”; yet shortest month of the year. But with some daily temperatures reaching double digits, and longer hours of daylight, its time to start thinking about spring-cleaning! When we think about spring-cleaning we usually think of cleaning out closets and spare rooms, tidying kitchen cupboards, and of course the dreaded yard work! We often neglect the fact that our bodies are not ready for the stress we are going to put them through jumping into action for a neat and tidy home for the upcoming season. Not only does your home and yard need cleaning up, your body needs some spring-cleaning of it’s own!
Often times, we spend more time bundled up inside during the winter months – meaning our joints do not move as much as they should! A weekend of marathon cleaning could be a lot more load on your joints and muscles than they may be ready for. We need to pace ourselves, prepare our body for what it is going to be doing. Start small and do a little bit at a time, following the tips below, ultimately reducing your risk for injury or pain.
Warm up and cool down (walking, jogging for ~5-10 minutes)
- Lift with your legs – not your back (we have strong legs and knees and hips that bend!)
- Try not to twist your back (our low back does not like to rotate when we are carrying heavy things)
- Avoid bending for long periods of time (any prolonged stationary position can hurt our joints, use knee pads)
- Do not over reach (especially when grabbing heavy objects!)
- Take frequent breaks! (Every 15-20 minutes)
Finally, take care of yourself! Visit your local chiropractor to have your joints and muscles assessed to ensure you have the right mobility and stability to take care of the upcoming seasons work!