The festive season can be a busy time for everybody where sometimes our regular routine goes out the window. The common slippery slope of eating to our hearts content, ceasing exercise, staying up late and partying hard can undo all the hard work you have done to keep healthy and fit in 2014!
Here are some tips from of our Elwood Physiotherapist Sinead Holland to try to stay on the straight and narrow at least some of the time over this Festive Period!!
- Keep moving! Go for a walk or do some of your daily stretches. If you have a spiky ball or foam roller that you use as part of your stretching routine try to continue to use these over the festive period. Remember to pack your spikey ball with you if you are going away on holidays!!
- Try to incorporate some of your social get togethers with exercise – go for a walk with friends/family.
- Avoid sitting/standing for too long over the festive period especially if you have a history of low back pain. Try avoid the comfy low soft chairs for long periods.
- If flying interstate or overseas over the holiday season remember to stretch regularly and walk up and down the aisle every hour if possible. Some simple stretches such as neck stretches, calf raises, ankle pumping, marching on the spot and shoulder rolls are great ways to aid circulation and reduce the risk of injury.
- If driving long distances, ensure you take regular breaks to stretch your back and neck muscles. Ensure you have set your chair in the best position to promote good posture. Try using a rolled up towel for the natural curve in the base of your spine if your car seat does not have a good supportive chair.
- Be careful when lifting heavy suitcases/shopping bags. Remember to bend your knees, feet shoulder width apart and keep the suitcase /bag close to your body when lifting – do not use your back muscles!! Let your legs do the lifting. It is important to remember after driving or sitting for a sustained period your discs (shock absorbers) are more susceptible to injury if you suddenly lean forward to pick something up.
- During the festive holiday period if doing things you don’t normally do, like your yearly renovations or gardening remember to take regular breaks, take it easy and listen to your body for warning signs that may indicate injury (Pain, reduced motion, stiffness). Don’t try and do it all in one go!!!
- Stay Rehydrated- our bodies need adequate hydration for our muscles, nerves, tendons and ligaments to work effectively. Aim for 1.5 to 2L of water a day.
- Get enough sleep – plan some early nights in that busy social calendar.
- Remember just because it’s the Festive season you don’t have to eat the whole cheesecake or pudding! Remember everything in moderation.
We hope you have an enjoyable Christmas and if you do happen to need a Physio, please call your Physiotherapist at Stay Tuned Elwood on (03) 95310909. You can check our holiday opening times here.