October in Minnesota is unpredictable; the weather in particular. One day it’s sunny and 70 degrees, and the next day we’re slammed with an inch of snow, which then quickly melts as we again approach a sunny 70-degree day. One thing I can count on is gravity and its ability to strip nature’s most gorgeous pallet of orange, yellow and red hues to the ground. Which means the other thing I can count on in October is raking leaves.
Last weekend my husband and I raked our back yard for the first time since we bought our home. As newbie’s to leaf care, we did our research and found out we should:
- Avoid twisting your body while raking. Use your legs to shift your weight rather than twisting your back.
- Use good, quality rakes for your height and strength. I also recommend using a leaf blower/mulcher for large yards and take turns raking and using the leaf blower.
- Wear yard/gardening gloves and comfortable shoes with skid-resistant soles to avoid blisters and slipping.
- Lift the leaf bags with your legs. Don’t strain your back!
- Stretch your body before and after in order to properly warm up and cool down the body.
- Take frequent brakes and drink plenty of water.
After mulching 600+ gallons of leaves from our seven oak trees, we were stiff, sore and tired – even with the advice above. It’s no wonder why the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons says the dynamics of raking leaves can lead to strain and injury to the back, shoulders and wrists. Since my lower back was tight that night and needed more support, I took advantage of my Sleep Number bed’s adjustable firmness; I made my side firmer and raised my setting 10 points. When I woke up the next day, the leafless yard reminded me of our completed project — not my sore, achy back. I continue to be impressed with the benefits of my Sleep Number bed, and feel proud to work for a product that can improve someone’s life. What’s your Sleep Number story?
Other autumn aspects I can count on are the inevitable first snow and retiring my summer clothes to storage so my wool sweaters can pack the closet again. I also get to switch out my Sleep Number comforter! If you’re in need of some new fall or winter warmth layers, check out the Sleep Number Semi-Annual sale. Enjoy the seasonal changes and sleep well!