Summer time is a great time to get all of those home improvement tasks done that have been building up on your To Do List. Are you thinking ahead to protect yourself from injury? How many times have you gotten back in from redoing your backyard with a sore back? Come back Monday morning with arm pain from painting all weekend?
People regularly push themselves beyond a safe limit on the weekend to get everything done that they didn’t have time for during the week. Lumping all those chores in over a weekend is just like jumping up and deciding that today you will run a marathon (without ever having run before). Some things to think about:
1. Can you move closer to whatever you are doing?
2. Are you facing what you are working on?
3. Can you use a large muscle group such as your legs instead of relying on your hands or shoulders?
Some extra tips:
1. Stretch before, after and during: just think about doing something opposite to what you have been doing. For example, if you have been painting with your arms in front of you, stretch by putting your arms behind you.
2. Break up tasks based on movements required. For example, if you have to work kneeling in the garden and have to clean windows, do an hour of one and then switch to the other. This switching of tasks will switch the muscles you are working.
3. Warm up before working (this doesn’t mean just get out of the air conditioning). If you are going to mow the lawn, first take a brief walk around the block pumping your arms up and down gently to get the muscles ready to work that lawn mower.
4. Remember to stay hydrated – don’t wait until you are finished with a task to drink some water. Caffeinated drinks do not count towards hydration.