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John's Tips: Don't Leave the Leaves

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It is October, and that means leaves. At first they are beautiful, then they are work. Raking leaves is hard work, and can easily lead to injuries. Here are some tips to help prevent injuries.

Pick up any debris like branches before starting to rake. Use a rake suitable for your height. Ideally, use an ergonomic rake, with a bent handle, which is easier on your back. Very your motions and switch sides frequently. Bend at the knees, not at the waist. Don't overfill bags, and avoid twisting when you move the full bags. Wear gloves and nonskid shoes. Rake frequently instead of at the end of the season, so leaves don't pile up and are too heavy.

If you follow these tips and rake leaves on a beautiful fall day, the experience can be pleasureable and healthy exercise. If you are feeling youthful, jump in a big pile with or without your children.