Aching muscles after doing DIY?

It's spring at last and as a nation of DIY-ers, a lot of us are dusting off our ladders, digging out our toolboxes and planning a bit of home improvement.

Whilst a bit of DIY is good news for your home, unfortunately this time of year is also when we see an influx of people with neck, back and shoulder pain after doing too much! We thought a timely blog on the subject might save a few of you from unnecessary pain.

Just as you'd prepare a room before decorating, a bit of preparation for your body can warm you up and help avoid those strains and aches. But how often do you remember to do some exercises before you climb up that ladder and do you know what sort of exercises you should be doing?

General warm up and warm down exercises

Despite the initial horror at the idea, warming up doesn't have to take much time at all. The following exercises are simple and quick and should help you stay nimble and injury free!

Knee hugs: Lay on your back and hug your knees towards your chest. Hold for 10-20 seconds and repeat 2/3 times.

Twists: Whilst still on your back, put your feet flat to the floor, and keeping your knees together and bent, drop both knees to the same side, returning to centre before dropping to the other side. Drop to each side 4/5 times as far as is comfortable, not pushing through any pain.

Side bends: Standing, slide your left hand down your left leg so you are bending to the side, return to neutral and then do the same down the right side. Repeat 4/5 times.

Circles: Standing up, put your hands on your hips and rotate your hips clockwise for 5 circles, then anti clockwise for 5 circles in a range that is not painful for you.

Specific stretches

It's very easy to lose track of time when you're busy but spending too long in one position is not good for your body. We're often bent forward doing tasks such as painting, lifting, or carrying or spending time stretching up trying to reach something. Too long in one position can lead to overstretch of muscles and joints which can lead to inflammation and pain.

To avoid this, there are 2 key things to follow:

Don't spend too long in one position! Try breaking jobs up into small sections and even having 2.3 things on the go at different heights. Make sure you take time out to change your posture every 15/20 minutes, go get a cup of tea or have a walk around before returning.

Realised you've been in one position longer than you wanted to be? Stand up and have a walk round and maybe do some of the warmup stretches to reduce any stiffness in your body before carrying on working. Your body will thank you!

A little extra care after the job's done

It's important to stay hydrated through the day so make sure to drink plenty of fluid. If you're a tea drinker, walking those mugs back to the kitchen is a great way to help your body move again! Whilst you're there, grab a glass of water and keep sipping at it while you work.

If you take a little time to keep moving through the day, you'll make light work of DIY tasks with no complaints from your body. Don't forget, we're here to help you when those aches and pains don't settle quickly. 

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