Weather & Your Health: Tips To Avoid Pain While Raking This Fall (VIDEO)

By Emma Koch - 21Alive

November 11, 2013 Updated Nov 11, 2013 at 12:04 PM EST

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (21Alive) -- Every year, fall shares a variety of vibrant colors. Shortly after, it's time to rake them up, all of them. And that can lead to sore muscles... or an injury.

"Stretching would be helpful to try to stretch out those muscles that you're going to use prior to doing that. And even just some walking and some mild exercise as you begin before you do the strenuous, real heavy lifting stuff," Dr. Brown said.

After moving all those leaves, you probably feel it the next morning in your back and your shoulders. Slightly changing your technique can alleviate some of that pain.

"Make sure when you're lifting heavy things, and leaves turn out to be very heavy when there's a big pile of them, make sure you lift with your legs and bend at your knees as opposed to bending at your waist to lift, bend down, and pick those things up," Dr. Brown warns. "And make sure when you're raking that you're turning, so that you're turning at your waist and not stretching your back too far while you're pulling with the rake."

Raking can be quite the cardio workout. So if you have a known history of heart troubles, experts recommend you see your doctor before taking on the task. On the other hand, if you have a healthy heart, do your best to keep it that way.

"Regular, daily exercise or routine exercise is important to get you conditioned and ready to do strenuous activity like lifting and raking leaves for a long period of time," Dr. Brown said.

And if you have multiple trees and a large amount of leaves, Jason Meyers recommends a leaf blower.




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