Raking leaves can be one of the more pleasing, physical activities of autumn, especially if you know how to use a rake without straining your back.
Dress appropriately:Be sure to wear lightweight clothes that keep you warm, without trapping any sweat that may occur. Shoes should be supportive and comfortable, and should haveslip-proof soles in case you come across a patch of wet leaves.
Do a pre-rake warm-up:Although it may not seem like a workout, you can burn almost 300 calories during an hour of raking! Before you start raking, walk around briefly to get your blood flowing.
It’s important to do a couple of stretches to prevent muscle injuries, not only your shoulders but your neck and back too.
Practice the proper raking posture: To keep your neck and back happy, make sure you’re standing up straight, raking the leaves to the side of you, alternating your hands now and then.
Don’t forget to bend at the knees, not the waist, when picking up piles of leaves. Avoid twisting to toss leaves.
Instead, step to the side so your whole body switches position, not just your shoulders and back.
Take rake breaks: The repetitive movements of raking can become painful after a while. Be sure you take a rest every 10 to 15 minutes. Don’t forget to stay hydrated and stretch to release tension you may have built up in your muscles.