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DR. ARTHRITIS TIPS: JOINT FRIENDLY SPRING CLEANING TIPS
The arrival of sunnier days is enough bring a smile on anyone’s face—especially for those who suffer from chronic joint pain. Winters are typically punishing for anyone with arthritis, so once the breeze blows a little bit warmer, sufferers will get their much needed respite from stiff and aching joints.
But along with fairer weather also comes a Spring cleaning checklist—one that will probably have you mopping, wiping, washing, sweeping, folding, dusting, lifting and everything in between. Just reading that checklist can leave you feeling exhausted. Imagine doing all that when you’re worried about painful joints too.
While there might not be a way to get around these much-needed Spring cleaning duties, there are some ways to minimize joint strain. Here are some joint friendly Spring cleaning tips that you can try.
1. Pace yourself
Do not attempt to do everything in one day and over exerting yourself. Give yourself more time and work towards completing a room in your home per day.
Focus first on heavy-traffic areas and assess where you go from there. It’s possible vacuuming pathways from main entrances to your home is all you really need and there’s no need to go all out with deep cleaning.
2. Choose the right tools
Look for cleaning items that come in smaller, lighter, and easy to use bottles instead of heavy tubs or massive spray bottles that make lugging cleaning equipment harder.
For scrubbing, try Magic Erasers and microfiber cloths to help remove faster and easier.
3. Be strategic about storage
This is especially helpful for two-storey homes. Be sure to stash cleaning equipment both upstairs and downstairs so you don’t have to keep running up and down when you’re doing Spring cleaning.
4. Take frequent breaks
Spring cleaning can be daunting and challenging—but remember that this isn’t a race. Take lots of breaks while you’re completing your chores. For example, if you’re mowing the lawn, it’s best to take breaks every 10 minutes. The heavy vibration of motorized tools can actually affect your joints.
5. Don’t just stand there
One of the most common cleaning mistakes arthritis sufferers make is that they simply stand still while doing common chores like vacuuming. Our advice? Walk while you vacuum, even if you have to do so slowly. Standing still and pushing and pulling a heavy machine actually puts undue stress on your back and wrists.
6. Alternate tasks
Switch your tasks around to make sure that you don’t overwork a specific part of your body. For example, if you’re doing vacuuming today, which can be stressful on your back and wrists, try dusting or organizing closets the next day to give your body a break.
Again, if the prospect of spring cleaning can seem a little daunting, don’t be afraid to ask for help. A friend, caregiver or family member is likely willing to help you.