Scrooge or Christmas fairy? Even if you feel a little jaundiced about the commercialisation of the festive season grab the opportunity of some time off with both hands.
Christmas usually begins for most families with hoicking a Christmas tree in from the market or out the loft. Then there's the over stretching and lifting putting up decorations. Then there's the lifting and carrying heavy of numerous shopping bags. Then collecting the turkey. Then there's the wrapping of the presents. Then there's the preparations with bed linens, spare mattresses, sorting out the spare towels.Then the lifting of food in and out of the oven. Not to mention all that standing around peeling vegetables and washing up - who would have thought it was such a work out?!
With all the lifting activities try to avoid lifting, stretching and twisting at the same time - your low back may well protest if you do. When you lift, keep a firm footing, your knees should be shoulder width apart and pointed in the direction of travel. Bend your knees and let the strong leg muscles take the load rather than your spine. Keep the load close to you and lift steadily without jerking.
If you are able to split your shopping days and distribute the carrying that's great, or perhaps frequent trips back to the car to off-load some of your purchases. In the absence of any donkeys and panniers, take a friend to help carry and make some regular stops for tea breaks!
Food and drink are a very positive aspect of Christmas, OK, I have to say it, in moderation! However, I'm not here to be a party pooper so keep up with your water intake. It's very easy to become dehydrated with alcohol and all the salty snacks. Brandy is the worst for hangovers and, in descending order, red wine, rum, whiskey and white wine. Too much alcohol is a diuretic and so is the (so called) reviving cup of coffee, so definitely add in your water and fruit juices.
'tis the season to be....sedentary. For many people the festive season can begin with cramped car journeys, followed by days of being slumped on sofa, and sometimes having to sleep on one for days too. If exercise is part of your daily routine try not to stress about not sticking to your schedule. It is nearly always possible to go out for a walk either with friends and family or it can provide a much required break if family dynamics are tricky.
For those fortunate enough to be zig-zagging down the slopes be mindful of the stresses caused by snowboarding and skiing. Many injuries on the slopes result from relatives and siblings trying to teach people to ski....the upshot of this lack of instruction, however well intentioned, is often injury. Coming close second in the injury stakes is predisposition to injury ie lack of conditioning, so train moderately for your holiday and don't just rush to the slopes without stretching and warming up.
Onto clothes or more precisely heels. Bear in mind that whilst stilettos make our best assets stand out, high heels do throw all your weight onto ball of your foot which long term can cause corns, calluses, bunions and deformity - not such dancing feet. Heels also push the centre of the mass of the body forwards which causes the spine to arch backwards as it compensates. So, enjoy your skyscraper heels for partying but try to vary heel height throughout the week.
Bags.... Try to avoid always shouldering a heavy bag on the same side. So many of my chiropractic patients are really surprised when I ask them to look in the mirror and see the difference in the level of their shoulders.
Finally, have a fantastic healthy happy Christmas holiday.
Enjoy your break from work and routine, and as you turn your mind to 2013 prioritise your health, because it underpins everything else you do in life.
Very happy Christmas to one and all ho ho ho