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Do you dread the task of raking autumn leaves? Leaf raking can be an excellent stress reliever. Here’s how to make it fun and relaxing.

As colorful autumn leaves start to fall on lawns and driveways, it’s time to get out the rake and perform the seasonal ritual of leaf raking. It’s a task that’s unappealing to some but on a crisp, fall day it can be a relaxing diversion and even a stress reliever. The cool autumn breeze and the promise of cooler temperatures can be exhilarating. Here are some tips on how to make leaf raking stress free and relaxing:

Stress free leaf raking: Choose the right supplies and the opportune time.

Pick a day and a time when the temperature is comfortable so you won’t get overheated. Of course, you’ll want to choose a time when the wind is minimal or you could spend most of the time chasing leaves! Dress in loose comfortable clothes that allow your body to breathe and be touched by the gentle autumn breeze. Make sure you have all of your supplies on hand before starting including a rake and plastic bags. Select a rake with a handle long enough to comfortably rest your hands on top when you’re standing upright. This will be the most ergonomically friendly length and will help you avoid the risk of injury.

Stress free leaf raking: Warm up the muscles and get your blood flowing before starting.

It’s best to approach raking only after you’re warmed up your body properly. A good warm up can help to reduce the risk of soreness and injury. Begin by taking a brisk ten minute walk around your neighborhood followed by a series of gentle stretching exercises for the upper body. Pick up the rake only after you feel limber.

Stress free leaf raking: Use good leaf raking technique

If you haven’t raked leaves since last fall and you don’t exercise regularly, you could experience soreness the next day. To reduce the chance of this, minimize how far you have to bend when wielding the rake. Be sure to switch sides frequently when raking to avoid putting too much strain on any one area of your body.

Stress free leaf raking: Take frequent breaks

To reduce the risk of an overuse injury, take a break every ten minutes, particularly if it’s warm outside. During the break, drink plenty of water and enjoy the fresh smell of the great outdoors. Give yourself credit for doing a good job.

Stress free leaf raking: Protect your back

When you stoop over to put leaves into bags, bend at the knees, not the back. Protect your back as much as possible from injury during the process of bagging the leaves.

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