As the holiday season begins in full swing there are plenty of celebrations that you will become part of. Here are a few tips for a safe Christmas and New Year’s so that you can end your year on a healthy note.
Carrying the Christmas Tree. When carrying a Christmas tree, lift with your legs and knees. Avoid lifting with your back which may lead to an acute injury or aggravate chronic lower back problems. If a tree is too heavy for one person, be sure to ask for help. Never carry more than what you are capable of.
Don’t Sit Too Long. While sitting during holiday gatherings, don’t forget to get up and move your back and legs. Sitting down for long periods of time will place more pressure on your spine and can possibly aggravate a bulging or herniated disc. Sit with a proper posture at all times.
Stretch. Stretching can help improve your body’s flexibility and movement. Stretching relives tight muscles and encourages blood circulation to your body reducing the chances of suffering from pain or stiffness. Try to stretch when you get a moment of free time in between all that sitting or after waking up.
Engage Your Family. Ask your family to join you in your stretching exercises or when going on a walk to avoid sitting too long. This will not only break the sitting we do as part of the silly season, but you may also be able to work off a few kilos gained from eating & drinking too much.
Healthy Eating & Drinking. Make sure you do not give yourself a Christmas ‘stuffing’ – don’t over eat. Make sure you have some fruit and vegetables as well. Try not to drink too much & have some water as well.
Towards Wellness – Four ways to stay active over the Christmas period
- Go for a summer walk! It is a less strenuous form of exercise than going for a hard-core session in the gym.
- Prefer to be indoors? Why not dance to some festive tunes. A fun way to burn off the Christmas turkey!
- Take advantage of the Christmas weather. Spend time the beach at any opportunity.
- Do activities as a family. Over indulgence is hard to avoid around Christmas so why not decide to go for a walk with all the family after dinner, take advantage of the sun setting later.
Stretch of the Month – The Trap Stretch
- Sit, stand or lie on you back with arms at your sides
- Side bend- (laterally flex) the head to one side and tip the ear to the opposite shoulder in a pain free range of movement
- With the opposite hand, slowly begin shrugging (lifting the shoulder towards the ear) and hold for 15 seconds then lower the shoulder to the floor.
- Repeat the exact same neck exercise on the opposite side. It’s best to try and do 2 sets of 15 seconds each side at least twice each day but there’s no real sensible limit so it can be done as often as you can fit it in.