While it is exciting to find a new home and get settled, the moving process is anything but fun. In fact, there is a study that suggests one in 10 Americans would rather spend a week in jail instead of dealing with a move. Whether you fall in that number or not, most people don’t like the arduous process of moving because it can be physically exhausting. This is especially true when you’re lifting tons of heavy boxes and furniture. While it’s a task that needs to be done, it’s very important to maintain a high level of safety as you do it. Consider the following ways you can make sure you don’t break your back lifting furniture.

1. Bend your knees.

One of the reasons why the back feels the brunt of the pain is because people put too much pressure on it. Instead, it’s a much better idea to put your whole body into the process of lifting. This starts by making sure your feet are firmly planted on the floor. Instead of bending your back to gather the strength the lift, bend your knees. As you squat and bend your knees, you’ll be using the lower half of your body to support what the upper half is doing. This makes the process more sustainable for your body.

2. Stretch before you start.

If you really take a look at the reality of moving, it’s a workout on its own. You don’t have to worry about missing days at the gym when you’re moving furniture and boxes. Consider moving your strength-training session. Before any workout, it’s important to stretch. You warm up your body to prepare it for the work. Do the same before you begin lifting. You don’t even have to spend 20 or 30 minutes doing various stretches. Even if you spend three to five minutes on some solid stretching exercises, you’ll be in a better position to handle the load.

3. Wear supportive garments and footwear.

The warmer months are ideal for a major move. Most people don’t want to move when it’s cold outside. While you might want to wear your sandals and flip-flops, your back needs support. Wear sturdy and supportive sneakers that will absorb the shock from the pressure. When you’re purchasing sneakers, take comfort and your arch into consideration before you look at the style. A back brace is a great garment to wear as you’re lifting heavy furniture as well. The brace will help you keep your back in the best upright position.

4. Hire movers.

Know your limits. If you don’t want to break your back, you’ll want to know how much you can realistically carry. If you own a grand piano that’s not situated on wheels, don’t try to play yourself by moving it on your own. In fact, you can damage your back and the piano if the process isn’t handled properly. You can opt to pay professional movers to take care of the dirty work for you. After all, they do this on a professional level. They know how to properly move heavy furniture without damaging their bodies.

5. Solicit help.

If you’re tight on funds, consider calling friends and family members. See if they are willing to help you pack up your home onto a moving truck. If you call a few people to help you move, you can get it done with a quicker turnaround than it’d be if you worked on it all by yourself. Plus, you’ll save your body from the stress and strain of all that lifting.

6. Take breaks.

Don’t try to rush the process. Move at a pace that works for you. If you try to go too fast, you can increase your chances of using the wrong technique. You never want to put your body at risk for the sake of time. If you’re feeling exhausted, it’s okay to take a break. If you need to take a nap or rest for 30 minutes, give your body a chance to regain some strength.

It’s wise to plan your move in advance. When you’re able to get ahead of your schedule, you won’t feel rushed to hurry up and move a bunch of furniture in one sitting. As you plan ahead, take your time and move at your own pace, you’ll be able to process the move with more grace and ease. Before long, the process will be over.

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