Spring has officially sprung! Our windows are open and airing out the winter funk, which also means you might be seeing dust and dirt where you don’t want it. No time like the present to tackle that grime; spring can be so motivating! Spring cleaning is a great way to get your physical activity in for the day. It can provide the same health benefits as going to the gym! With this added activity, especially after hibernating all winter, it’s important you move correctly to prevent injury!
Have ever thrown out your back doing the simplest of tasks such as lifting the laundry basket, loading the dishwasher, or taking out the trash? Or experienced sore shoulders after dusting the fan? Most people just push through the pain, but it gets worse by the day, and before you know it you can’t sit, stand, walk, or sleep without having any pain. Here are 3 tips, you can use to avoid injuries and keep your heart healthy while cleaning!
#1 Lift Correctly
Bending at your waist is a common mistake made while performing household chores…and you WILL hurt yourself if you continue to do this! It can put a lot of strain to your muscles and with enough repetition, you can throw out your back.
To avoid injury:
- Squat (BEND YOUR KNEES, stick your bottom out/back, keep your chest up)
- Don’t bend with your back!
- Keep the object close to your body
- Lift with your legs…dig those heels into the ground!
#2 Use a Step Stool
Repetitive overhead motion and the excessive reaching, while dusting the fans, top shelf of the cabinet, washing the windows, or changing a light bulb, can put a lot of wear and tear on your shoulders and wrists.
Consider using a step stool to reach high items. If you don’t have a step stool, grab a sturdy chair or lift your heel and go on up on your toes to support yourself!
#3 Take breaks!
We tend to perform household chores to get done as quickly as possible, but if you have a lot of chores to do, take short, frequent breaks! Or better yet, stretch out your spring cleaning for a couple of days (bonus points for multiple days of activity!). For every 1 hour of work, you should take at least a 10 minute breather to stretch, hydrate and recover. By stretching your muscles (during rest breaks), it can help you avoid any injuries!
A good stretch to do between breaks:
- Take a broom or a towel and hold it above your head with both hands
- Reach sideways
- Hold for 10 for seconds each direction, and repeat several times
Spring cleaning can be great exercise! Consider it a workout instead of work and you might just enjoy it a little more!