We all think of raking the leaves as a relatively simple chore, but even doing the simplest chores can hurt our bodies if we aren't careful.
Skip Windy Days - This should be a given, but it's good to mention anyway. Trying to rake leaves effectively will be made more difficult on a windy day and take twice as long and use way more of your energy and muscles! Pick a day that isn't too hot as well. It's crazy, but we can still have extremely warm weather at times in the fall. You don't want to overheat, so keep that in mind. Also, don't wait until it's really cold either if you can help it. It's a task that takes a bit of time if you are doing it by hand, you don't want to be out in the bitter cold for too long.
Dress Appropriately - Along with paying attention to the weather when you are going to rake, wear the appropriate clothing as well. Keep your head covered in the cold and blazing sun, use garden gloves, wear a jacket/coat if necessary and if it's warmer, still wear long pants and long sleeves. Bugs, too much sun and other skin irritations can all be a hazard when you are raking leaves as well, so keep your skin covered.
Posture Perfect - How you stand while you rake makes a difference as well. Keep your feet apart, hold the rake slightly toward the end of the handle with one had three quarters of the way down on the handle from the other. Don't twist your spine, but move your entire body. Avoid overuse of muscles on one side of the body by switching sides periodically.
Don't Overfill Bags - Of course, make sure you have plenty of bags and don't overfill them. The heavier they are, the harder to move and the harder on your body. It is important to not overuse plastic, however you only have one body and you need to treat it kindly.
As with any maintenance chores, being prepared with the right equipment and the correct wardrobe can make a big difference in how you feel when you are done at the end. Be thoughtful about your body as you are taking care of your home.