Do you feel an urge to clean up in spring time? Birdsong, peeping buds, the hint of warmth, more hours of day-light: it’s all about renewal and nest-building, isn’t it? Sunshine lights up my home…and show-cases months of winter grime on my windows in a most unflattering light! Time to get out the vinegar and paper, or whatever glass cleaner there is to hand.
Cleaning windows is such a satisfying task –it’s great to see things shine. I usually want to clean all of my windows in one go, but if I do that I don’t have as much energy for the rest of the day. So I pace myself, and do a few at a time, with rests in between.
Here are a few things to think about, whatever your ability level, and whether you decide to clean, or tidy the yard, or join in the general spring madness with a host of other fun schemes (like the folks in my neighbourhood who think the word “springtime” means “renovate till you drop”).
1. Keep a good posture throughout. Poor posture (whatever the cause) will eventually cause injury, and will certainly interfere with the efficiency of your movements, making any task harder.
2. Keep your lower belly muscles (core) in check. You can do this easily by pulling them inwards and standing tall. Even if you just think about standing tall and tucking in your lower belly you will improve your posture.
3. Pace yourself. Start small, take rests and gradually increase the activity. It’s important not to overstretch yourself.
4. If you find your limbs, neck or back start to ache quickly, or if it just feels as if the task is too demanding, think about how you could adapt your position and/or your equipment. For example, if you can’t stand up to clean the windows, you may be able to perch on a stool and use an extendable cleaner.
For tips on energy conservation see the CAOT website.
See links below for information on posture from the Canadian Physiotherapy Association and the NHS.
R. Sian Owen PT