Whilst lifting boxes during your move it is important that you do so in the correct way. If you don’t, you run the risk of injury and potential lasting health issues. Though it sounds like a rather simple thing, there really is a right and a wrong way to lift and carry heavy items. No one wants to spend their moving in party nursing a heat pack and smelling of muscle rub do they? If you follow these guidelines you’ll be all set to start lifting those boxes safely and easily.
Plan your route: When carrying something heavy or bulky it is important that you work out the route you are going to take with it, whether that’s from your home to vehicle or vehicle to new home. This is vital as it allows you to make sure you don’t rub the risk of tripping or twisting around obstacles and corners you weren’t expecting. When carrying larger items with another person, make sure you both agree on the route you will take beforehand so that you don’t run the risk of pushing or twisting the item whilst the other person is holding it and potentially causing them harm.
Keep things close to your chest: You will have a much better grip and a stronger hold of the thing you are carrying if you hold it close to your body. Avoid stretching your arms and holding things away from you as this puts strain on your arms, shoulders and back.
Make sure your feet are apart and your knees bent: Lifting with your feet shoulder width apart gives you more stability whilst lifting. Keep your back straight during the whole process and use your knees to lower yourself down and raise yourself up. This allows your legs to take the strain and reduces the stress on your back.
Let your legs and stomach do the work: Tensing your stomach muscles whilst lifting will not only help to tone yourself up but will allow you to take excess pressure away from your spine, minimising the risk of hurting your back. Using your legs to lift whilst doing this also means all the strain is diverted from your back and shoulders down to your legs which are stronger. The more boxes you move the less time needed at the gym!
Ask for help: This is possibly the most important step of all. There is no point trying to act like the hero if it will end in you curled in a ball begging for pain-relief. Be realistic about what you can carry. Remember it’s not just a case of being able to lift it; you must also be able to carry it and place it down again. If you are straining then ask for help. It will be much quicker in the long run to get someone else to help you with a few boxes than injuring yourself and being unable to lift anymore for the rest of the move.
If you follow these guidelines you will be able to minimise the impact of your move on your body. If you suffer from back problems it is advisable you ask for more help and take a step back from the heavy lifting. If you still wish to lift boxes a belt or back support may help in giving your back a little more stability and minimise the risk of pain during the move. Just remember to be safe, be sensible and know your limits.