The beautiful colors and crisp air make fall a great time of year to get outside, but if you find yourself cleaning up after Mother Nature, there are some things you may want to keep in mind. YNN's Chris Whalen tells us what you should know before taking on autumn yard work.
NEW YORK STATE -- They're colorful and beautiful to look at, but autumn leaves can also help keep us in shape.
"Raking leaves is a great way to get some exercise,” physical therapist Christine Osgood said. “You use a lot of muscles to do it and it gets your heart pumping. It's a good way to exercise."
"Leaf raking is about the same energy expenditure as walking three and a half miles per hour, so it's a pretty good pace," Diane Barton said.
Tending to the lawn utilizes muscles in the shoulders, arms, legs and back, meaning raking up a yard full of leaves can be a pain, literally.
"You could get some irritated tendons or muscles, strained muscles or get some tendonitis in a shoulder, or if you bend too much, you could end up hurting your back," Osgood said.
We know raking can be a strenuous activity, but how strenuous? We'll put a pulse monitor on my right index finger to get a before reading, then I'll rake some leaves and find out what it is after.
So, I only raked there for about 30 seconds to a minute in a small area and just doing that alone, I got my heart rate in excess of 150 beats per minute, so that goes to show you your heart rate can really sky rocket when you're doing this activity, which also means you have to take extra precaution when you're going to go outside and do some yard work.
"It would probably be good to do a little bit of a warm-up prior to, whether it be stretching or light calisthenics to get your cardiovascular system geared up for the exercise."
And as you work, take frequent breaks and stay hydrated so that you don't have to call it quits before the job is done.