A busy afternoon of yard work can do wonders for your lawn, but it can also do a number on your back.
Judi Bar, a certified yoga therapist at Cleveland Clinic’s Wellness Institute, says you can strike a pose or two before you rake to help decrease the pain.
Here are some of Bar’s suggestions:
- Bend forward, stand up straight, then bend backwards. “Basically, we want movements of the spine. It doesn’t have to be far,” Bar says. “You don’t have to touch your toes. Go side to side, twist, move your spine a little bit and you’ve got the basic motions.”
- Sit in a chair and pull your knee up to your chest. This will help stretch your lower back.
- Open your legs and in a sitting position, reach down towards the floor. Bending and reaching side to side also helps.
- To loosen your back further, lean over a chair and roll your spine. “It’s called the cat pose,” says Bar. “It looks kind of silly, but it works because it moves the whole lower back quite nicely.”
Bar says you can try some of these poses in the days before you do your yard work — so you won’t feel quite as sore — or you can wait until you’re done.
Either way, be sure to check with your doctor before starting any exercise program.