During the holiday season, we don’t generally stop to think about how our bodies will be feeling after slaving away for days (sometimes weeks) getting our holiday prep done. No one wants to be hiding in pain during the holidays! We have compiled our top 6 ways to prevent any injuries that you may face during the holidays.
- When driving for long periods of time, take breaks every couple of hours. When you are pulled over, it’s best to literally get out of your car and stretch & walk around to get your muscles moving again. If you are constantly sitting stagnant in the same position, the muscles in your low back, neck and various other areas of your body will not be happy with you. Pull over and take a break, your friends and family will understand because they don’t want to have a sore back while visiting!
- If you are going to be visiting for a few weeks and have lots of luggage to carry, it’s a smart idea to pack a few smaller suite cases if possible instead of one large mega sixed suitcase. This could literally save your back! Having heavy luggage can be too much load to bear so try packing smaller bags.
- It’s understandable if you want to chill on the couch and have a lazy day this holiday; it is the holidays after all! You just need to be mindful of your posture, slouching is not going to be so relaxing when it starts to hurt as having pain can drain your energy. What fun can you have if you’re feeling sluggish?!
- Sleeping in a proper bed, to be clear….that means horizontally, could save your spine during the holidays. It may be difficult if there are a lot of friends or family stuffed in one house, but you need to watch out for your joints and muscles. When we sleep, we need to be flat and in a position that keeps up in “neutral” so that our joints don’t become inflamed and muscles don’t spasm. Recliners are the worst for sleeping on because of the angle! It can cause your joints to shift and cause pinched nerves, which are really painful.
- I don’t know about you, but I find shopping exhausting! Not only does it take a long time finding the perfect gift for everyone, but it can also require a lot of walking. It’s a smart idea to wear comfy, arch-supportive shoes when you have lots of walking in your future like when shopping for the holidays. Trust me, your feet will thank you! If you seem to be carrying a lot of bags, see if the mall has a locker you could rent to store your purchases/bags. If that’s not an option, you can always store some of your goodies in your car! You might not notice it, but your posture isn’t going to be the best if you have bags hanging off your arm and shoulder. If this isn’t an option and you need to carry those bags then try to disperse the weight evenly in both arms, to avoid leaning in one direction for long hours. While taking care of your arms and feet, you need to stay hydrated! You shouldn’t let the stress of holiday shopping to overwhelm you. Take your time window-shopping, sit down and take breaks in between shops! This way you can ease any tension that may be building up.
- In my opinion, one of the most important parts of the holiday is the food. So when you are preparing a large meal, be mindful of how you are standing and lifting everything! Never bend directly over the oven when hauling the large turkey out. You should always contract your core, pull out the shelf and bend at your knees for better balance. This way you’re helping your lower spine by avoiding any awkward leverage. If you’re going to be slaving away over the stove for a few hours, make sure you’re not standing in prolonged static postures or leaning to one side for too long. This results in asymmetric loading to your muscles and joints that can very shortly lead to sprains and strains of those same muscles and joints. Your feet may also start to hurt for all the hours of standing and constant pressure, so if it’s possible, have an anti-fatigue matt or cushion to stand on as well as good supportive footwear to wear on your feet while you cook. Always remember to take breaks, change angles and change positions!
The holidays are meant to be a relaxing and joyful time. We don’t want your tears falling into your eggnog because you’ve hurt your back, lounged poorly or slept funny! You need to take care of your physical health in order to keep your spirits high to enjoy the magic of the holidays. Dr. Mir is very passionate about your well being and can offer many different types of treatment or recommendations to help you stay strong and healthy. She treats the nerves, muscles and joints through use of modalities, various soft tissue techniques and adjustments. Call us to book an appointment and let Dr. Mir help you get ready to take on the holidays…physically that is;).
We wish you a happy and healthy holiday season! 🙂