(ARA) - What's the secret to health and happiness? Look out your window for the answer. Caring for your lawn is an opportunity for exercise, fresh air and stress relief that results in a great-looking yard.
But keeping your yard beautiful means maintaining your equipment -- from the lawn mower to the person using it!
Here's a checklist for taking care of your mower and yourself:
1. Clean the engine. Exercise and visit your health professional. An engine has to run smoothly for a machine to work at peak performance. Keep your personal engine at its peak through exercise and regular appointments with your health professional. Walking behind a push mower and doing yard work are great exercise.
2. Inspect belts for wear and adjust tension. In other words, take stock and relieve your tension. Stress can affect both your mental and physical health. Adjust the tension in your own life by taking time to relax and smell the flowers and grass.
3. Replace spark plugs. Put a spark in your life. We all need a little spark of something new to keep life interesting. Expand your horizons, whether it's a trip to a ballgame, a local museum or a new restaurant.
4. Replace air filter. Get some fresh air and sunshine. Mowing the lawn is a chance to be outdoors. But don't forget the filter -- when spending lots of time outdoors, be sure to use sunscreen and wear a hat on those hot summer days.
5. Check battery voltage and continuity. Examine your power source: your diet. Everyone and everything needs a power source. A mower needs a charged battery. Charge your own batteries with the proper diet and the correct nutritional balance.
6. Change and dispose of oil and replace filter. Get rid of those negative thoughts and thank those who help your day run smoothly. Oil makes all the parts run smoothly together. Take a moment to thank all the people in your life for the little things they do that help you get through your day.
7. Grease axle and mower spindles. With your gaze forward, turn back and reflect. A little grease makes these parts turn round -- do a little turning yourself. Reflect on where you've been in your life, how far you've come, and where you still hope to go.
8. Test operation of brakes, carburetor, transmission and safety systems. Stay safe. Are you taking any unnecessary risks in your life? Safety is always important, from buckling your car seatbelt to safe handling of your lawn equipment.
9. Sharpen and balance mower blades. Hone your skills and keep life in balance. Dull blades shred the grass and should be sharpened regularly. Just as learning is a lifelong pursuit, having a balance among all elements of your life -- home and work, family and friends -- is important.
10. Clean built-up debris from the mower deck. Get rid of the excess stuff in your life. A good mower does one job and does it well -- cutting grass. Both literally and figuratively, get rid of the stuff in your life that you don't need. Clean out your closet or garage. And if you've taken on more commitments than you can handle, pick ones that are the most important.
11. Change transmission fluid, engine coolant and hydraulic filter. Keep cool. Keeping an engine cool while it's working is a must; staying mentally cool and relaxed is a must for everyone, even on the busiest days. In those patience-trying situations, take a breath and count to ten. You'd be surprised how much better you'll feel.
12. Check tire tread and pressure. Give your feet (and the rest of you) a well-deserved rest. We all need a break. Instead of being constantly on the go, sometimes the best way to spend an afternoon is in the hammock. And what about this mower maintenance on your to-do list? Try a John Deere Ready to Mow "house call" -- they'll take care of the maintenance while you relax.
So help keep yourself and your lawn mower running like well-oiled machines by staying on a well-manicured -- and well-maintained -- path to happiness.
Courtesy of ARA Content