Taking on a home renovation can be a daunting task but Google is your friend. You can ‘google’ almost anything these days. So put your Kiwi can-do attitude to work and give DIY a go. Here are some simple tips to help avoiding injuring yourself.
Plan it Out
This might seem simple but plan out what you need (to avoid endless trips to Bunnings), how to do it and get all the advice you need before you start. This will not only save you time but avoid copious amounts of frustration. DIY can be rewarding and save a lot of money but it can be extremely frustrating and all sorts of curve balls can be thrown your way. By planning what you are going to do, you will hopefully avoid doing things the hard way and injuring yourself. Ask around if you need advice or tips and tricks from the professionals.
Wear Safety Equipment
Again an obvious piece of advice, but safety equipment is a very simple way to avoid injuries and hurting yourself. The last thing you need is an injury, preventing you from going to your actual day job. This may require you renting some safety equipment like a harness and helmet if working on the roof, but falling off the roof can have disastrous effects.
As an osteopath I commonly see with my patients who are tradies, muscular and joint aches and pains relating to being in a sustained posture for a long period. For example, painting a ceiling, lying on your back installing underfloor insulation or working in a tight space. No matter what the task, take a break every 20 minutes or earlier if required. Stop, stand up with a neutral posture, roll your shoulders, stretch your neck and back, twist side to side to get the blood flowing. Ideally every hour completely stop what you are doing a take a 5-10-minute break.
Have a Hot Shower or Bath at the End of the Day
Give those sore muscles and joints a nice soak and unwind for the day. It doesn’t need to be with a candle and rose petals, but a hot soak will help your body recover and unwind.
Some simple stretches include: tipping your head to one side and then to the other; bending forwards to touch your toes(ish); stretching one arm across the front of your body and using the other arm to gently pull it into your chest; and resting an arm against the wall at 90 degrees and leaning forwards.
Don’t Overdo It
After spending a day at work, try avoid spending the whole evening or weekend doing DIY. It is such a balance and hard to get the job done without over doing yourself but you do need rest and a good night’s sleep. You will struggle at work the next day if you stayed up until 3am painting. Try roping in friends or family to help get the DIY done faster. When you can afford it, get some of it done by a professional, especially those jobs that really do require someone who knows what they are doing.
Eat and Drink
Again simple but easily overlooked. Your head’s down, bum’s up and next thing you know it’s 4pm and you have barely eaten or had anything to drink. Make time to eat and drink and again have a break. Yes, time can be of the essence in getting things done but don’t compromise on the basics. A headache due to dehydration and not eating is only going to hold you back.