September 30, 2011
October, which will be here tomorrow, is Raking Leaves month for us Dull Men.
There’s a lot to like about October. Apples. Crisp air. Falling leaves.
Falling leaves should not be viewed as a burden. It is an opportunity to get good exercise. AARP reports that, according to Barbara Ainsworth, an exercise epidemiologist at San Diego State University, raking leaves is categorized as moderate physical activity similar to a brisk walk. Your arms are moving and your core is working to stabilize your body. A 135-pound person burns 240 calories per hour when raking leaves.
It is a good time now to get prepared for raking leaves.
Warming up. As with any physical activity, you should warm up your muscles before raking. Almost all your muscles are used when raking — arms, chest, shoulders, legs, upper back, and lower back. To get ready for raking, walk around your yard doing circular arm movements and also bending exercises, bending forward, backward, and from side to side. Then do some gentle stretches.
What to wear. Get your clothes ready now. If you need to shop for the right clothes, do it before leaves start falling. Dress in layers. If you get too warm while raking, you can peal off a layer.