For most of us across the U.S., spring is finally here. And with that warmer weather and sunshine, many of us are itching to get outdoors and dig into the garden or clean up the yard. It may be time to spring clean your indoor environment, too, whether it’s at home or the office. After a long, cold winter that’s understandable – but it’s also a recipe for disaster.
It’s Easy to Overdo Spring Cleaning
Spring cleaning indoors or out is a form of exercise. And like any other workout, it is important to warm up before you use your muscles. This is especially true in the spring, when many of us have been used to staying indoors and not getting a lot of physical activity during those long, cold winter months. Work your way into labor-intensive chores gradually rather than jumping right in with rake and broom.
What areas of your body are likely to feel the pain? Our backs, necks and shoulders usually bear the brunt of mistreatment in the form of spring chores. That’s because the repetitive motions of raking, gardening, shoveling, dusting and such can traumatize our muscles and result in inflamed joints and muscle pain, in addition to overall body aches.
Try these tips for preventing spring cleaning from causing injury or trauma:
- Don’t lift too much at a time; be sure to bend your knees to prevent back strain when shoveling or organizing boxes.
- Take frequent breaks, especially when weeding or doing outdoor chores that require you to bend over or stretch your back.
- Try to use good posture no matter what your chores you are attending to. If possible, always stand and/or sit straight, keeping your neck and spine in alignment.
- Don’t twist your lower back; instead, move your entire body in the direction you need to go (such as picking up a pile of weeds rather than twisting to toss each handful into a trash bag).
Treating Aches and Pains
What if you've already injured yourself? Of course, when you have overdone it the best thing to do is take it easy for a couple days. You may want to apply ice packs to inflamed areas or alternate cold and hot therapies. But if your aches and pains don’t go away within a couple days, you should consult a physical therapist or chiropractor who can administer more effective treatments.
One such treatment is the FIT Bodywrap©. The soothing far infrared rays of the body wrap provide deep heating to your muscles and joints, loosening knots, reducing tissue stress and improving circulation. This is an excellent way to relax after a day of hard labor around the house – and a great way to get your body ready for physical therapy treatments by increasing flexibility. Find out about more of the benefits of FIR bodywraps here.
Spring is here and that means a lot more work to do around the house! Use care when performing physical labor and if you do overdo it, be sure to make a FIT Bodywrap© session part of your treatment plan.