As the frosts settle in, and the wind blows there is plenty of leaf clearing to be done. At this time of year we become less inclined to get out into the fresh air, the cold, wind and rain quickly encourage us to stay inside, as a result it wont take long to lose physical strength & tone if we don’t use our bodies. Those leaves present an excellent opportunity for some physical activity and fun (who doesn’t enjoy kicking up leaves), however it is worth preparing beforehand to limit the aches and pains that may occur.
Tips to prepare for gardening this autumn
- Warm up first
- 15 minutes of gentle walking or stretching (try these exercises) will help to ensure you are ready for the more strenuous exercise of raking leaves.
- Wrap up warm
- the right clothes will keep your body stop you seizing up, gloves & hats will prevent heat loss & layers to keep your torso warm.
- Choose the right tools
- using the right length & weight rake or brush for you will ensure you aren’t bent over too far, or straining when you work.
- Use a step ladder to get to higher branches rather than strain up to reach
- Make sure you use the right posture for the task in hand
- Bend at the knees, not the back.
- Alternate the way in which you twist and bend when sweeping.
- Manage your working time
- Don’t work for hours to clear all the leaves in one go.
- Break your work up into manageable chunks – maybe 1 wheelie bin full at a go.
- Take a break every 30 minutes.
- Stay rehydrated
- You may not feel like you are sweating, but you need to ensure you continue to drink as if you were exercising in a gym.
Other physical benefits of leaf clearing
- It counts as one of your physical activity sessions
- Raking up and bagging leaves compares to walking briskly or doing a yoga class.
- You will burn between 90 – 180 calories for every 30 mins you work.
- You will hopefully benefit from some autumn sun and therefore vitamin D
- Strengthening your bones through calcium absorption
- Reducing inflammation.
- Improving your mood.
- Your garden will be safer as you will be reducing the risk of slipping.
How can osteopathy help you with your autumn gardening?
If you are feeling stiff or achy before or after you start working in the garden and stretching exercises aren’t helping book an appointment online today so that we can help loosen you off and give you some individual advice so that you are ready to tackle those leaves.