May’s Memorial Day preserves the memory of veterans who have given their lives for our country’s freedom – a freedom that, among other things, gave us the Great American Backyard. In preparing our backyards for warm weather activities, we wage war on winter damage, insect infestations, and Pinterest fantasies. Before launching your offensive, read our Intelligence Briefing. It could keep you from being wounded in the Battle of the Backyard!
PT Time: Whether you’re a new recruit in lawn warfare or a seasoned veteran, preparing your body for the task will help missions run smoothly. Stretching before and after the demands of these unique exercises can help to reduce muscle aches and pains. Don’t be afraid to hit the showers later to steam those cramps away.
Ongoing Operations: You may want to bring shock and awe to your backyard, but some wars are better waged over time. Strategizing to fight your backyard on multiple fronts over a longer period of time can save the abuse on your muscles and help your body to become slowly conditioned to new exercises. If possible, work in your yard for a couple hours at a time over a period of a few weeks versus putting all of your efforts in one day.
Tactical Support: There will be many lifting challenges in tidying up your backyard. Whether moving heavy logs or scooping up the many piles of seemingly light leaves, making smart tactical decisions about how you lift and move objects can drastically reduce your chances of injury. Be sure to learn how to lift properly; not by bending forward, rather, bend your hips and knees to squat down and never lift a heavy object above shoulder level.
Band of Brothers: Get some help for maintenance missions. Whether you think you need help to finish your backyard project or not, find brothers, sisters, dads, or neighbors to fight alongside you. Some backyard maintenance foes absolutely demand a collaborative plan of attack and others will be quickly subdued if you call in some support.
Modern Munitions: Trade in those ancient instruments for advanced ammunition. Many hand tools used in backyard wars of old now come with new and improved features that make them lighter and easier to use. In many cases, tools are designed to be more ergonomic, thus reducing strain on certain muscles and promoting better posture. Be sure you have the high ground and are in a good position whenever performing backyard tasks. Don’t stretch or reach beyond points that are comfortable. When possible, use safe ladders to reach tall hedges, and fit your tools with extensions. If tasks call for low-crawling, to save your back, be sure to find a comfortable spot to sit versus bending over.
Bring in the Heavy Artillery: Equipment can not only make backyard projects go more quickly, but it can also reduce wear and tear on your body. Using implements such as sod cutters, hedge shears, tillers, stump grinders, and more can swiftly turn the tables on backyard battles. Be sure to wear any recommended protective gear and receive the proper training on how to operate this firepower to make sure you don’t injure yourself.
Form an Alliance: Some battles are only won by finding trusted allies. Whether you are relying on the complete aid of the workforce of professionals or just need help fighting on certain fronts, finding a local pro could keep you from being wounded in action. Know what backyard operations you can run yourself, and live to fight another day by regrouping with the help of others.
Never give in--never, never, never, never, in a yard great or small, never give in except to back-saving good sense. Never yield to foolishly acquired pain; never yield to the apparently overwhelming might of the backyard!
Have a great summer!