To avoid soreness, follow the rules for raking leaves

Fitness Q & A

Health & Fitness

October 05, 2003|By Gailor Large | Gailor Large,Special to the Sun

How can I rake leaves without getting so sore?

The truth is, by the time your body registers an achy back or tender wrist, it's probably too late. Prevent soreness by following these four basic rules (for FALL):

* Frequent breaks: take them. No one said you have to finish the entire yard in an hour.

* Avoid repetitive movements. Alternate sides and switch raking patterns.

* Lift bagged leaves carefully. Bend knees slightly to avoid straining your back, and use a wheelbarrow to transport filled bags.

* Let others help. Make "leaf day" a family affair. Offer hot cider and a scary movie as a reward.

Some treadmills at my gym feel very sturdy while others seem to shake as I run. I feel like my feet don't strike the ground as cleanly when I'm on one of the shaky machines. Will my joints suffer, or is this just a comfort issue?

According to Nikki Dwojewski, manager at Bally Total Fitness in Glen Burnie, "If you're having a joint problem, it could be that the treadmill isn't tight enough."

More likely, though, it's the impact of the running itself that your joints can't handle. First, let your gym know that the machine needs adjustment. Still hurting? Jump on a cross-trainer instead, says Dwojewski. It simulates the motion of running, without the impact.

What is the difference between a lacto-vegetarian, a lacto-ovovegetarian and a vegan?

All three are forms of vegetarianism. A lacto-vegetarian eats plant foods and some or all dairy products. A lacto-ovovegetarian can eat eggs as well. A vegan, the strictest of the three, has a diet consisting only of plant-derived foods. If you are considering adopting a vegetarian diet, consult a doctor or nutritionist to make sure you are getting the proper nutrients.

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