This week, let’s focus on taking care of our spines while doing DIY projects. Although DIY can be productive, it can also put a strain on our backs and leave us feeling uncomfortable afterward. So, to ensure that you have a healthy and productive end to the year, I have put together five effective tips to help you take care of your spine while carrying out manual work.
Break the task down
Although it may be tempting to complete a job in one go, it’s crucial to avoid underestimating how long a task may take. When carrying out DIY tasks, make sure to factor in breaks during the day to stay hydrated and nourished with healthy foods. Consider breaking the job down over days, if necessary, to avoid working for long hours without any breaks.
Use both sides of your body
Repetitive lifting or twisting can put uneven stress through your spine, leaving you vulnerable to injury. When possible, use both sides of your body to distribute the stress evenly. This may require some extra focus at first, but over time it will become second nature and support your spine health in the long term.
Bend your knees
Poor posture while lifting or performing tasks puts a lot of strain on your spine, particularly your lower back. To support your lower back and avoid aches and pains, take time to bend your knees and engage your stomach muscles while performing manual tasks that require bending or lifting.
Ask for help
If the job is too big for one person or there are items that should realistically be lifted by two people, don’t hesitate to ask for help. A moment of determination can lead to weeks or months of pain, so assess your job and consider asking for a helping hand. You might be surprised at how quickly you can get the job done with some extra assistance.
After a long day of work, don’t just sit down and veg out in front of the television. Before getting too comfortable for the night, take 10 minutes to help your body transition from one activity to another. Try taking a warm shower or bath to ease your muscles, and follow this with some gentle stretching. Simple post-DIY self-care will help to reduce potential cramping and discomfort the next day.
I hope these tips are helpful and allow you to enjoy your upcoming DIY projects! Remember, manual jobs around the home can be very physical for our bodies, so treat it like any other intentional exercise and support your body in the process.