The Best Ways to Recover From a Long Day of Yard Work
Along with spring cleaning, preparing for growing season and getting your property in tip-top shape for the warmer months is most likely on the top of your to-do list. This annual landscape cleanup and preparation often involves a great deal of spring yard work, much of which can be quite strenuous.
Following an exhausting day out in the backyard, here are the best ways to recover from yard work.
Refuel and Rehydrate
While it may not be a 10 mile run or a two hour workout session in the gym, spending an afternoon doing yard work can be just as tiresome as any other form of physical activity. In fact, yard work often involves multiple muscle groups and body parts and therefore has the potential to be even more taxing than a standard bike ride. During the day it's important to stay hydrated. Although you may not be thirsty, it's important to drink water throughout the day.
Refueling with a healthy meal of complex carbohydrates and proteins is key after you've dusted the dirt from your hands and come inside. Your body has likely burned a lot of calories from all of the shoveling, mowing and lifting you've been doing. Taking breaks for a snack throughout the day will also help keep your energy levels up.
Heat and Ice
Before engaging in any form of yard work, it's important to stretch. Even simply standing with your legs apart and your arms out wide, and slowly stretching these parts can help avoid discomfort later in the day. If you're really feeling ambitious, a little bit of warming up to get your heart pumping may help as well. At the end of the day, taking the time to stretch once more may prevent the onset of muscle cramping or discomfort.
Similar to shoveling snow, spring yard work has been known to cause lower back pain in many people. Twisting and overexertion can cause inflamed muscles, primarily in the back and neck area. If you experience this discomfort, heat therapy is the most natural way to alleviate it. The Sunbeam® Body-Shaped Heating Pad with Hot & Cold Pack for example, is not only optimized for back injuries with its unique design, it also conforms to the area to provide the maximum heat for tension relief.
If you become injured while working outdoors, you should stop immediately and ice the afflicted area. Whether it's a sprained ankle, twisted wrist or even a bee sting, applying ice or cold therapy to the area will help to bring down the swelling and promote faster healing.
Rest and Recover
The spring cleanup in your yard likely won't get finished in just one day. However, it's important to avoid exerting yourself in the yard two days in a row. Allow your body the opportunity to recover in between a day of outdoor work. Taking a weekend day to rest, relax and catch up on sleep is important after a day of yard work. Your joints will thank you for the rest between demanding tasks.