A Physical Therapist’s Guide to Safely Do Your Household Chores

A Physical Therapist’s Guide to Safely Do Your Household Chores

December 4, 2020

As this pandemic goes on and on and on. Women, specifically mothers have their work cut out for them. Juggling being a work-from-home and doing household chores, can definitely take its toll on their physical well-being. Household chores can already be a full-body workout.

From vacuuming the house, cleaning the windows, picking up your kids’ toys, and washing dishes- you name it, these chores will leave you feeling sore the next day. On the contrary, now that we have so much technology and gadgets, some chose a more sedentary approach during the quarantine; and this also results in those pains that the body feels after a day of doing chores almost the whole day, every day.

Like all exercises, it’s very common to feel sore after rigorous activity. But with the help of Physical Therapy and the right exercises, you can actually do away with unwanted soreness and possible injury. There are actually things done before, during, and after doing household chores.

Stretch before starting your chores

We stretch before we work out, right? It’s the same with household chores! It’s a good practice to start after getting out of bed- stretch those muscles especially the major ones (neck, hips, torso, wrists, legs). Good advice from your Physical Therapist is to pay more attention to the major muscle that will do the most activity from the chores. For example, if you’re planning to clean the windows it’s best if you stretch your arms and hips for this.

Stretching helps in providing your body the proper flexibility it needs to be able to work throughout the day, plus it prevents injury and strain. For the best exercises, talk to a licensed physical therapist about how you can prepare yourself for any workout.

Make it a good practice to have good posture

Many of us underestimate the practice of having a good posture. Having a bad posture only result in too much pressure in areas that receive those strain. Your therapist guide to having a good posture would be:

  • having your legs shoulder-width apart
  • knees slightly bent
  • your back straight

Posture in picking up objects from the ground also requires a good posture. Heavy objects should be picked up with your knees bent and you’re back straight as if squatting. The common thing we do is using our back to pick up heavy objects, that can be dangerous and may lead to injury.

Take some breaks and change it up!

Take your time! Get some time off when you’re doing a chore and it’s taking some time. Switch it up and do another chore. If you’ve been scrubbing and it’s taking some time, it’s better if you put that down and do another chore. This would prevent the overuse of muscles. Using a particular muscle group for too long may lead to chronic pain and would make it difficult to finish up. Allow yourself some breaks- remember, your health is much more important than finishing chores.

Cooldown and monitor pain

Every workout needs a cooldown phase, so it’s important that you do so after finishing your chores. The ideal stretching takes 15 to20 minutes to relieve tension and decrease soreness the next day (trust me, you’ll be sore if you don’t).

One tip is icing the areas that hurt the most, placing a thin cloth in between your skin and the ice will do. It’s normal to feel pain but if it’s already more than 24 hours then something is wrong- better have yourself checked by your physician. Ignoring the pain can lead to something worse such as arthritis. It’s better to be safe than sorry.

You can always ask your Physical Therapy for more advice and they will always be accommodating to give you the proper education and even teach you the best techniques. Even the simplest chore can affect you physically, so do take care of yourself above all else.

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