PT Pro - April 2020

4/20

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JUMPING (SAFELY) INTO SPRING Tips for Enjoying This Season

for example, start out with a lighter task. Take a 10-minute walk around the block or do 10 bodyweight squats and 10 heel raises. When people tell me they want to do a marathon, I support it! I think it’s awesome. But I also convey that they can’t just go out there and expect to run a 10K right off the bat. You have to build up to it. Look at these activities as you would a bank account: Going out and gardening for three hours is like writing a check for $3,000, and you’ve just emptied your account. Rather than draining it all at once, budget your energy. If you estimate there’s probably about three hours of yard work ahead of you, spend an hour tackling it, then take a break. Grab some lunch, then go back for another hour. Maybe you don’t spend those three hours all in one day, but spend an hour and a half each day over the weekend. Stopping to rest and refuel puts money back in your “bank” so you can go back out and have enough energy to not overexert yourself. When you try to do too much at once, injury happens. I get it — a beautiful day makes me want to do it all, too. And I’m not saying you have to suppress your enthusiasm. Just try not to do too much all in one day or all at once. We don’t want you to spend your spring and summer at our office recovering from an injury! Rather, we want you to be outside enjoying yourself and soaking up those sunny days. Taking things a little at a time and remembering proper body mechanics will help you do just that.

T he excitement of spring is hard to beat. With longer days and better weather, we want to get outside and enjoy spring activities! In our excitement for the season, though, we sometimes move a little too fast into activities we haven’t done for a year. When it comes to spring-cleaning, gardening, and working in the yard, there are steps you can take to prevent injuries and make sure you get to enjoy your favorite activities all season long. No. 1 on that list, especially when gardening and cleaning out the garage, is using proper body mechanics. When it comes to lifting and moving a heavy object, hinge at your hips and use your legs. By hinging your hips, your back can stay straight and is more stable. As you lift, push through the ground so you engage the right muscles. Ground

yourself with your feet so you’re pushing down as you’re lifting up.

We sometimes see shoulder injuries as a result of a garage cleaning. The person reached up to grab a box high on the shelf, and it was heavier than they expected. The box ends up behind their center of gravity and pushes their arms back behind their head. I always tell people that if a box is up too high to reach at arm level, grab a step stool or get someone who’s taller to take it down. Take a minute to assess the situation because it’s not worth injuring yourself over a task that would take a couple minutes to make more secure. We sometimes see injured backs from gardening and yardwork. It’s so important to start slow and be a little warmed up before you begin. Before you start moving cement,

-Maureen Madden

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