Fall is in full swing and the cooler temperatures and wind are bringing the beautiful color mix of changing leaves tumbling down on lawns, sidewalks, and into eaves. Unfortunately, that signals the beginning of the fall clean up in our yards and the tasks of preparing for colder weather.
Raking and bagging leaves involves using the shoulders, back, and legs with squatting and bending. Try to break up the task into several sessions so as not to overdue and have soreness for an extended period of time. Sweeping sidewalks of leaves and debris is a good workout for your shoulders but helps to prevent falls for your family as well as other people walking by. Cleaning up the plants and vines in the garden also involves lots of bending, twisting, squatting, and pulling.
One of the more dangerous tasks of fall is cleaning out the eaves or gutters on your house. This usually involves climbing up a ladder and reaching out to pull the leaves and debris out of the gutter itself. It is extremely important to make sure your ladder is secured level on the ground and up against the top surface firm with no “give” before you attempt to climb up. Take your time and keep your balance as you ascend the ladder and try to anchor your body at the top before reaching to clean out the gutter. Rather than trying to juggle a bag or bucket in one hand as you go up the ladder and gripping the ladder with the other hand, simply wear gloves and pull and drop the debris on the ground below. You can then rake and clean up the debris avoiding the hazard of losing your balance and falling off the ladder while you attempt to hold a bag or bucket in one hand and clean with the other.
Pruning trees and bushes are another task for fall. This is a good workout for your arms and shoulders also and should be done a few at a time to prevent overdoing, depending on the thickness of the limbs you are pruning. This could also require the use of a ladder and the safety precautions of that should also be adhered to as well as using gloves to protect your hands.
Fall brings plenty of ways to get your activity in, be it working in your yard, or taking walks in your neighborhood or areas where the leaves are especially beautiful this time of year. Take your family to the local pumpkin patch and stroll around to find the perfect pumpkin! Enjoy the end of the season where outside activity is still pleasant. It won’t be long and most of our activities will have to move inside!