As the temperature begins to drop, seasonal chores are beginning to show up on our to-do lists. Changing out the bed linens for warmer sheets and blankets, putting away your summer wardrobes, and clearing up the yard and gutters of leaves and, depending on where you live, shoveling snow.
The risk of back pain during this time of year increases due to the labor intensive work of raking leaves and clearing snow. Injuries and pain can also arise due to lack of exercise during the cooler months, slipping on wet surfaces, or bending and twisting while cleaning up outside.
Fortunately, there are different ways to combat the cooler weather. By implementing the following tips, we can help keep our body healthy while avoiding pain.
- Dress the part: Wear layers to keep warm when going outside. Also, be sure to wear proper footwear when there is snow or water on the ground to avoid falls.
- Move around: We tend to spend more time sitting during the fall and winter months. If you’re watching TV, make an effort to get up and move around, or try some stretching during commercial breaks. By moving throughout the day, even if it’s just around the house, you can keep muscles flexible to avoid tension and pain.
- Eat healthy & stay hydrated: While we are in favor of indulging every now and then, by eating in moderation we can help keep extra holiday weight away. Back and knee pain are often a result of weight gain as it puts added stress on our joints and muscles.
- Maintain a workout routine: Staying active will keep muscles strong. Core exercises work muscles that support the spine, keeping back pain at bay. Stretching often will help you stay limber while avoiding tense muscles. Try these simple exercises each night before bed.
- Pay attention to form: Whether shoveling snow or raking leaves, keep your legs slightly bent, reaching with your arms instead of your back. Use your legs as the source of power to prevent straining your back muscles. Switch sides every 20 minutes to avoid muscle fatigue.
These tips can help you avoid pain and discomfort during the fall and winter months. From heat therapy products to foam rollers, to massage chairs, our trained associates are ready to help you prepare for the cold months ahead. Visit your local Relax The Back store locator to try out our products first-hand.