Written by: Dr. Elizabeth Whitehead, PT, DPT
I recently read an Instagram post that compared preparing for Christmas to having an additional part time job for the months of November and December. How true is that?! The decorating, gift buying, gift wrapping, cleaning, cooking, gathering…as much fun as all of this is, it can definitely be stressful and exhausting. And when our bodies are stressed and exhausted, they are more prone to injury. So, here are some tips and tricks to keep your body in tip-top shape during the holiday season.
Tip 1: Pack Light
Now before you panic, I’m not asking you to pack LESS. I’m asking you to pack LIGHT. As in, don’t cram everything in one bag that ends up weighing 50 lbs. Instead, pack two 25 lbs. bags! And remember all our previous talks about maintaining a neutral spine while you lift. Your low back will thank you.
Tip 2: Stop Often
Stop every 1-2 hours while on a road trip and get out of the car. Take a little walk around a parking lot and do some gentle stretching. This will make you feel so much better when you finally reach your destination.
Tip 3: Exercise
Find a way to keep some version of your normal exercise routine in your life throughout the holidays. Even if it’s a shorter or less intense workout than normal. Keeping movement as part of your daily routine is good for your body and your mental state.
Myth 4: Sleep
During times of stress and deadlines, sleep is often the first thing we forego. Our body NEEDS sleep to recover from the things we put it through during the day. Getting a good night’s sleep helps prevent injury, decrease stress, and even boosts our immune systems.
So, there you have it. Four little bullet points to help make your holiday season the best one yet! Let’s spend the next two weeks celebrating with all the loved ones, being thankful for all the things, and giving all the gifts. Happy holidays!