Rake in the benefits of physical exercise!

Summer is truly over, and fall has begun! A lot of people like to get in their outdoor activity to the times of year when it’s very warm and sunny outside, but I like to take lots of walks as the leaves fall and the air becomes crisp. There’s something that feels especially good about getting your muscles warm when there’s a little chill in the air.
One good (and unavoidable for many) way that many people get exercise in the fall is by raking leaves. For those of you lucky enough to have a yard full of trees, it’s a nice way to accomplish something while experiencing the season and getting some physical activity.
If you want to maximize the fitness benefits of raking for your body, make sure that you stretch the muscles in your body that are tight before and after raking. Also, people tend to rake while facing only one direction, depending upon the dominant side of their body. If you can, make sure that you swap sides from time to time while raking. Muscle imbalances can cause injury in the long run.
If you work a muscle on one side of a joint, but allow the muscle on the opposite side of that joint to weaken, the stronger muscle will pull the joint into a dysfunctional position, and the weaker muscle will allow it to be pulled. Take the time to prevent that by raking with both sides of your body.
Another unexpected way to prevent injury in day to day activities is to get plenty of sleep. Basic fatigue can cause you to alter your movement patterns in ways that promote injury.
Make sure you’re drinking plenty of water even if it’s a little chilly out. You still need it, and physical activity still increases the amount you need. Eat high quality food, and skip the Halloween candy!
If you found these tips helpful, please share them with someone else!

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