The holiday season is almost upon us. You can feel it in the warmer air and everyone’s spirits are rising as they anticipate their Christmas breaks with family and friends.
Christmas and the summer months are a period of indulgence — sometimes over-indulgence. Here are some tips from John Petrozzi to help you enjoy your holidays to the max and stay healthy and happy while you’re at it.
Travelling on the Holidays
- Take frequent breaks when driving long distances. Experts recommend taking at least 15 minutes away from the wheel for every 2 hours of driving.
- Have niggling back and neck pain checked out before you leave to go on holidays. Long drives will always highlight any spinal problem, so nip them in the bud before you go.
Safe, hands-on treatment to restore joint and muscle flexibility as well as an exercise program are the mainstays of chiropractic care for spinal pain.
Reaching and Bending for Christmas Presents
Use the proper lifting technique every time you pick up a gift:
- Bend at your knees not at your back or
- Kneel down on one knee, as close as possible to the item you are lifting, with the other foot flat on the floor and pick the item up.
- Avoid bending or twisting the spine at any time while you are carrying heavy gifts.
- When reaching for something above shoulder level, for example when placing the Angel on the top of the Christmas tree, stand on a stool. Straining to reach such objects may not only hurt your mid-back and neck, but it can also bring on shoulder problems.
Drink plenty of water to keep you hydrated. If you do drink alcohol, remember to alternate every alcoholic drink with a glass of water and please don’t drink on an empty stomach. Always eat something nutritious before you head out. Try to stick to three to five alcohol-free days a week.
Remember to make healthy choices this Christmas. If you are consuming more heavy and energy-dense foods than usual, you may need some highly metabolic workouts. Increase the intensity of your workouts so you can stay looking and feeling good during this time of year. If you do like enjoying Christmas treats, limit your portion size.
Remember to keep up with your exercise routine. Just because you were out and about the night before is no excuse to sleep in and forego your workout. If you’re going away on holidays think about what exercise gear you can take. Your trainers, workout clothes and a skipping rope are a good start.
Sleep is something our bodies and minds crave, so if you are having later nights, look at when you can do some catch-up. Try not to have a consecutive run of short sleeps. Never sleep in a position that causes a portion of your spine to hurt. Most often, your body will tell you what position is best.
Take these common sense precautions and you’ll go the distance throughout the holidays and summer with a smile on your face.