Spring cleaning and yard work are big obstacles this time of year and it’s important you remember to take care of your body while working. Cleaning is a hefty task mixed with lifting, carrying, reaching and bending - all things you should prepare your body for. Here are a few helpful tips to keep in mind before you break out the cleaning supplies.
Some forms of cleaning are basically little workouts you might not even realize you are doing. When you go to the gym or start a workout, you warm up. Your spring cleaning should be no different. Consider going for a quick walk to get you started! Stretching is also a great way to get started. Remember to stretch both your upper and lower body as you’ll definitely be using both (even if it doesn’t seem like it). A few good stretches to consider are a hamstring stretch, a calf stretch and a doorway pec stretch. The bottom line is, don’t start cold. You want a clean house at the end of the day, not a new injury!
Use proper form
It may seem odd to think about form while you clean, but it’s really important to keep in mind! Just reaching or bending over in an injurious way could cause some pain or soreness so ensure you use proper form to avoid that. So how do you know what proper form is? When bending over or picking something up, use your legs and not your back. This means instead of just hunching over and grabbing your item, bend your knees (leaving your heels on the ground) and lift from your legs. If you’re worried about form or just need a few extra tips, consider talking to your physical therapist or a personal trainer to perfect your form. It will help you in many more activities and your daily life, not just cleaning!
A few extra helpful tips
Since cleaning is another form of a workout, remember to carry over your workout habits into your cleaning habits. This includes taking breaks and not overdoing it. Short breaks between tasks will go a long way in helping you avoid injury and overexertion. Stay hydrated while you work. We often forget to drink water throughout the day, especially when we get busy. Consider having a water bottle handy and set a goal to finish the bottle in a set period of time. Finally, make it fun! Just like going to the gym, adding in little things to make it fun help motivate you and keep it interesting. Play some music or make a game out of it. Spring cleaning doesn’t need to be a task we dread, it can be a fun workout we look forward to!