Summer Body Care

Summer Body Care

Audrey Schenewerk, ND

Summer is a time for projects, like moving, yard work, home improvements, etc.  These activities can be fun, therapeutic and necessary for life; Here are some important tips for protecting your body while engaging in these activities.


The garden that commands your attention may also be a bit hard on your hands, wrists and knees while you are kneeling by its side.  Consider these ideas to minimize muscle fatigue and soreness:


  • Change positions frequently, squatting, kneeling, sitting, bending for long periods of time or repeatedly can be ergonomically unfavorable
  • When kneeling consider pads under knees and rear for support
  • Alternate hands when weeding or digging to prevent aggravation of overuse injuries
  • Try to rotate between types of gardening activities, allowing your body some recovery from repetitive motion
  • Frequent breaks with stretching and hydration


Home improvements like painting, replacing fixtures and appliances may put significant physical demands on your body; here are several ideas to help you finish your projects feeling fine:


  • Again, changing positions or alternate repetitive motions as often as possible
  • Frequent breaks with stretching and hydration
  • Job share with friends and family, such as, you paint for them and they will help you move the kitchen appliances
  • Maintaining an overall active lifestyle will help your body adapt to the demands of your projects


Moving can be annoying with the packing and unpacking, and the inevitable injuries received as you maneuver the dresser down the stairs or lift heavy boxes.  Take a moment to protect your body with these ideasin addition to those mentioned above:


  • When packing use the smallest boxes for the heavier items
  • Furniture dollies or straps can really help your body manage oversized furniture safely
  • Use thigh and glute muscles to lift, rather than your back


By the end of the weekend when your projects are complete, or at least for now you may be feeling the effects of your labors.  The aches and pain may serve as a reminder to try some of the ideas above, next time, and focus on a little tender loving care now.  Some ideas to minimize the aches and pains of summer projects include:


  • Epsom salt baths to heal overused or injured muscles
  • Ice, heat, or contrast hydrotherapy (alternating hot with cold)
  • Good restorative sleep
  • Anti-inflammatory supplements and medications, when appropriate
  • Massage therapy or other manual therapies
  • Physical therapy
  • Chiropractic care
  • Evaluation by your licensed medical provider as necessary


Please be sure to find the care you need so next summer your body will be in top shape to complete the next round of projects.