As we have just experienced with the weather so far this April, we can easily be “fooled” into thinking that winter is not over! But soon enough the nice weather will be here to stay and we will begin to open our curtains to let the sun shine in, only to let it illuminate the dirt on our windows and unveil fertilize-needing grass and empty flower beds.
Some of us may be eager to get cracking on these tasks, but before you reach for that duster, read these 5 tips that will help you take the pain out of your Spring cleaning.
1) Even tulips need time to warm up For many of us, spring comes after a winter of reduced activity. We may have put on extra weight or reduced our time at the gym. In any case, warming up before taking on a large cleaning project will only help you to avoid injury.
Before you begin cleaning, begin with a few minutes of stretches so your joints and muscles are nice and warm before you start. Just like any exercise, spring cleaning can create a bit of a workout for your body.
2) Share the love There are small jobs and there are large jobs… and then there are those jobs that can be delegated to your husband! Whether it is gardening, scooping up the accumulated dog poop from the backyard, cleaning out the garage, fertilizing or raking, feel free to delegate to your spouse. Alternatively, try doing the work together, and hey, maybe this will be a new form of a date night for you! 🙂
Dividing jobs among family members will reduce your stress and shorten your list. Agree on a time to clean and then work together or give out the jobs according to ability and interest. (Some people just don’t like scooping dog poop, and some love vacuuming. Go figure.)
3) Split things up Never forget that it takes a lot of bricks to build a house. If you start with a plan of what you want to accomplish, then break that list down into smaller jobs you can get everything done in a time frame that doesn’t seem rushed.
Putting too much into one day can lead to fatigue, which can lead to injury. Those dirty windows aren’t going anywhere. Do half of them one day and half of them another. The same goes for the gardens. Dethatch one day, put mulch down later.
Here’s a tip: Set a timer for yourself, and when the bell rings move on to a different task requiring different muscle groups, take a break, or even call it a day. You may even find you are more efficient this way!
If Spring is going to take its time coming back, then you should take some time too. And if the weather is downright unbearable, wrap up in a warm blanket and let some of the jobs wait.
4) Be aware of your body When you are Spring cleaning you are going to be lifting, reaching, bending, kneeling, crouching, twisting and stooping. You will be carrying buckets, lugging supplies and dragging a vacuum. You will do this for hours at a time, and perhaps for an entire (long) weekend.
Here are some key points to keep in mind:
§ Always keep objects as close to your body as possible. When applicable, allow the object to move WITH YOU as if it is attached to your core, in order to avoid twisting.
§ Keep your elbows tucked in close to your sides as much as possible instead of reaching too far away from your body. This helps reduce strain on your shoulders.
§ Stand up straight and maintain good posture. Try to make yourself feel taller. Keep a long neck by pressing your shoulders down.
§ Always keep your hips square to the task you are doing and avoid rotating.
§ Lift using your legs. Get into a squat position as opposed to bending forward from your hips.
§ Get help with heavy objects and give yourself permission to take a break.
5) Be ambidextrous! Switching up your left and right hands for scrubbing and reaching can be beneficial. Don’t depend on one side of the body over the other. Teaching the left side to do what the right side already knows (or vice versa) not only gives the right side a break but can strengthen the left side too.
If you are injured, Impact Health Niagara can help you. Pains brought on by Spring cleaning can easily be treated with our chiropractic care. We can provide manipulations of the spine and tissue release to the muscles that will bring relief to sore muscles. We can also help professional (or avid) cleaners such as maids and housekeepers increase their longevity and efficiency by addressing their ailments.
With a combination of exercises and treatments, information and teaching, Impact Health Niagara can diminish your chances of becoming injured while doing your daily housework. Call us or stop by 15 Towpath Street in Thorold if you have any questions or would like a FREE DEMO on proper lifting and ergonomics.
About Dr. Daniela DiPaola
Dr. Daniela DiPaola graduated from the Canadian Memorial Chiropractic College, prior to which she received an Honours Bachelor of Kinesiology Degree from McMaster University. She has completed her certification in Contemporary Medical Acupuncture, with continued education in Functional Integrated Needling courses. Dr. DiPaola is a full-body Certified Active Release Technique® (ART) Provider.
She also has her Personal Training Certification. Dr. DiPaola utilizes a number of techniques including: Acupuncture, chiropractic joint manipulation, ART®, Class IV Laser Therapy, Shockwave Therapy and Kinesio-Taping techniques. Her treatment goal is to improve biomechanical and musculoskeletal dysfunction in order for her patients to return to activity and optimal function as quickly as possible. See SERVICES page for more info on each individual technique.