Tis the season to wreck your back doing outdoor spring projects...
People always assume that winter shoveling injuries keep me very busy. Although that does happen, spring outdoor projects seem to cause much BIGGER problems for people.
Coming out of the winter slumber and heading into the back yard to build that retaining wall or quadruple the size of your garden can put your body into shock! Let's talk about some ways to ease into yard-work season without major injuries.
Once your 'to do' list is updated with this years' outdoor project, start planning not only what supplies you'll need but also how you'll approach the project from a physical standpoint.
#1 - Plan your work ahead of time
Its important to give yourself time to get physically demanding jobs done. Shoveling rock and dirt for 8 hours in one day is poor planning and a recipe for disaster if you're not used to it. Break up the physical work into small pieces over a period of time to give your body some recovery time. Remember the rule of thumb for any home project...It will always take twice as long and cost three times as much as you think.
#2 - Warm Up
Like I mentioned in my blog about avoiding snow shoveling injuries, view yard work as an athletic event. Give yourself 10 minutes of warm up time before you grab the shovel and start grunting it out. A 10 minute walk and some stretches should be enough to prep your body for the work ahead of you.
#3 - Treat Yourself Like An Athlete After
Realize that most likely you have demanded more of your body than its been used to for a while. Take hot baths, ice sore muscles, drink lots of water, and eat extra protein to help your body recover. All of these things should help you body bounce back quicker and not lock up and revolt against you.
Hope this helps,