The Festive Season is well and truly underway and, YES it can become quite hectic. Longer days, all the food and gift shopping, lifting bags and that's just in the lead up. Not to mention all the cooking, lifting things in and out of the oven and the clean up effort, and we can't forget a few matches of backyard cricket. It really is no wonder our bodies can become tired and exhausted. With all of these extra jobs and demands it really is important we look after ourselves and prevent any injuries. For those of you already injured or suffering pain the importance of self management strategies is highlighted.
We’ve added a few hints and tips to help you all keep active over the festive season and manage the demands.
1. Listen to your body
Rest frequently when shopping: it’s addictive ( I know), so stop for a cuppa and rest the legs and back. Take frequent trips to the car to offload bags and decrease the load on the shoulders and back. There’s no shame in using a trolley for heavier or multiple items.
2. Ensure safe lifting technique
The last thing you want is an injury when lifting the roast out of the oven or playing Santa. Plan the manoeuvre and ensure you have a clear path. Size it up and make sure the item is within your capacity: if not seek help for a 2 person lift. Stand as close to the object as possible. Bend with the legs and the keep the back in neutral alignment. Turn on the core and activate the abdomen, pelvic floor and spinal stabilisers. Stand keeping the load close to your body and using power through the legs. Never bend through the waist to lift!
If need be break heavy tasks up into smaller components and plan ahead.
3. Keep active
By taking the stairs, rather than the escalators, park a little further than usual for the walk, take an evening stroll along the river or through the park, and don't forget to pack a few healthy snacks for those long shopping trips in the lead up
4. Throw out the thongs
Summer in Australia is all about the thongs ( aka pluggers), however foot postures and such footwear can aggravate many people, especially those used to wearing orthotics and supportive shoes. Joggers at the beach probably aren't a great look so supportive sandals or thongs such as Archies are a great idea and make a great gift!!
5. Look after the little ones
New Bikes are great fun, however safety first: don't forget the helmets and long pants to protect from falls and crashes. New toys and the joy they bring can be very exciting and the temptation to sit and play with new Lego, video games and ipads is real. However activity is important. Break up play time with such toys with a game of frisbee, backyard cricket or ball skills to ensure children stay active over the holidays.
6. It's all fun and games until someone gets hurt
The last piece of advice is for those like me who are somewhat uncoordinated and injury prone when it comes to trying new things or engaging in a game of backyard cricket. Immediate management of sprains and strains etc is important and can decrease symptom severity: Please remember the basic principles of RICER: Rest, Ice, Compress, Elevate and Refer yourself for an assessment with a health professional.
With all of that said: Christmas time is a wonderful occasion to share with our loved ones so enjoy the season, spend time with those you love, look after each other and stay active!
The team at Active Physiotherapy are here to look after any of your physiotherapy needs over Christmas and the New Year.
Our clinic is open throughout the festive season, so if you need a physio throughout that time, give us a call on 02 6925 7734.
We would like to take this opportunity to wish you all a Happy Christmas and a Safe New Year and look forward to looking after your health in 2017!