For Canadians, October is a month filled with fun activities that make it particularly special. Many of us wait all year long to pick apples, eat Thanksgiving turkey, dress up for Halloween, and enjoy the brightly coloured fall scenery. But it’s also the time of the year where unnecessary injuries can (and do) happen. Avoid common injuries this fall by practicing mindfulness, assuming proper postures, and taking preventative measures.
Apple Picking with the Family
There’s nothing quite like a wholesome family outing at a nearby farm where you can eat as many apples as you want, buy fresh pie, enjoy a hayride, and watch your kids enjoy themselves. However, if you’re not careful, injury may occur. When picking apples off the ground, be sure your back is not the only muscle doing all the work. Constant bending down can put a strain on your muscles, which could lead to a more serious injury. Pick from easy-to-reach branches instead, and when bending down, remember to lead with your legs.
Jogging on Cold Mornings
If you love the feeling of stepping outside into the crisp, fresh air as you take your morning jog, then you probably have already come face-to-face with a hidden danger that’s lurking on the sidewalks and streets. Rain and hail can make the road slippery and just cold enough to be an icy mess. Sopping, wet leaves turn into banana peels, making it hazardous on the sidewalks and roads. There’s no avoiding this seasonal risk, but the best way to prevent injury is to be alert and to ensure that your muscles are warmed up before you start your jog. In cooler temperatures, it takes our muscles longer to warm up and become fluid and flexible. The more warmed up you are, the less chance you have of sustaining an injury. Before you set out on your day, don’t forget to warm up your muscles by doing simple exercises, like jumping jacks, butt kicks, arm circles, and hip circles.
Raking and outdoor clean up contribute the most to autumn-related injuries. It’s important to treat raking like exercise and to not dive into it without wearing the proper gear and buying the right equipment. Before you start your annual lawn clean up, here are some important ways to avoid injuring yourself:
- Wear stretchy pants. Raking in jeans limits your range of motion and movement, which may force you to overcompensate by overextending your back or shoulders. Yoga or gym pants will do.
- Find a rake that fits. If you have to bend down to rake, it’s probably too short. There are many back-saving rake handles that allow you to keep your spine straight rather than bend down. Check your local hardware store.
- Warm up first. Just like your morning jog, it’s important to warm up your muscles before raking to avoid injury. Your muscles and joints will thank you for it.
- Stretch afterward. If you treat raking like a workout, then you should also treat your body to a post-workout stretch and cool down. Stretching helps to relieve tension in the muscles and improve recovery. Warm up inside with a nice hot drink or take a warm bath to relax from your hard day outside.
If you discover that your muscles and joints are sore and aching, it may be time to treat yourself to massage therapy. Mantra Wellness Centre offers various forms of massages that are designed to break up tension in your muscles, release stress from problem areas, and soothe chronic nerve pain. Book your appointment Online or contact us to find out what kind of massage therapy is right for you.