KICK OFF A HAPPY, HEALTHY AND INJURY-FREE HOLIDAY SEASON WITH FITNESS TIPS FROM ATHLETICO PHYSICAL THERAPY
‘Tis the season to shop, celebrate, eat and enjoy but the holiday marathon between Thanksgiving and the New Year can be stressful and physically demanding. Not only is it difficult to find time to fit in proper diet and exercise, people are more likely to be prone to injury and pain.
Athletico Physical Therapy, a leading provider of physical and occupational therapy in the greater Chicago area, offers these fitness tips to keep you happy and healthy.
- Don’t shop ‘til you drop: Carrying lots of awkward, heavy bags can do a number on your shoulders and back. Consider bringing a fold-up shopping cart so you can load up your gifts and wheel them around. If a cart isn’t an option, be sure to distribute the weight evenly between arms. When taking groceries or gifts out of your car, don’t bend from your lower back and remember to keep your back straight and bend at the waist to reach into your trunk or back seat. And forget the big, heavy satchel purse. Bring only what you need to make your purchases.
- Avoid beating up your feet: The holidays are tough on your feet and legs, including lots of time standing on the hard kitchen floor cooking and washing the endless dishes, or walking around the mall. To stop your knees and feet from rebelling, wear supportive footwear, or consider slipping a gel pad in your shoes so that you don’t feel so fatigued.
- Give yourself a break: If you are standing a lot while cooking, cleaning or decking the halls at home, give your lower back regular breaks by putting one foot up on a small stool, which places your back in a more neutral position and lessens the stress on muscles and joints. Sit down from time to time and put your feet up. Regular breaks will help you avoid injury.
- Get off the couch: It’s tempting to overeat and then plop down on the couch watching one football game after another. Instead, sign up for a 5K holiday run, go sledding or organize family and friends for a game of touch football. Create new family traditions that help you stay active.
- Sneak-in healthy habits: Drink lots of water so that dehydration is not confused with hunger and stock up on health snacks such as low-fat granola and almonds so that you don’t over eat when you arrive at holiday functions starving.
If you have aches and pains before, during or after the holidays, consider seeing an Athletico physical therapist. Athletico offers complimentary 30-minute injury screenings, including an assessment of your condition, suggestions for self-care, and a plan for next steps. Visit www.athletico.com to learn more about how physical therapy can help alleviate pain and improve your life.