Christmas is nearly upon us, the time of year where being healthy can be a challenge! There are lots of lovely but unhealthy foods on offer, long trips in the car and generally more time sitting around inside – and that is before we bring in the stress of getting ready for the ‘big day’!
So here we go, my top ten tips to staying healthy this Christmas.
1) Stay active
We all love to hunker down and relax at Christmas – especially with a mulled wine! But do remember to schedule in that festive walk for some vital fresh air and stretch of the muscles. Or if it really is too horrible outside, why not suggest an active game or dance around the house to a festive song? Try and make sure you move around every 20-30 minutes, this will help reduce your risk of back pain.
2) High Street Shopping
Be mindful of how you are carrying those heavy shopping bags. Spread the weight evenly between bags and try not to carry too much too far.
3) Internet Shopping
If you are internet shopping then try not to spend too long shopping at one go. Especially if you are hunched over a laptop or are shopping from a laptop on your lap. This is bad for your neck and can lead to upper back pain, neck pain and headaches.
Food wise the run up to Christmas and Christmas itself can be hard as there are lot more sweets, chocolates and unhealthy foods available. Try and alternate chocolates and mince pies with satsumas and nuts….. these are still Christmassy but a bit more healthy.
We all tend to drink more at Christmas, but if you have a lot of partying and get togethers ahead of you it may be worth alternating alcoholic drinks with soft drinks through out the night. You can still relax and enjoy the evening but you will have less of a hangover in the morning.
If you are heading out to a Christmas party and wearing heels this can put pressure on your feet, ankles, knees and low back. Especially if you are not used to wearing heels. Have a look at my video below to see my tips on how to wear heels without injuring yourself.
7) Christmas Decorations
If you are putting up decorations do it carefully. Make sure you do not over stretch to reach corners of rooms for paper chains. This can lead to shoulder injuries or worse if you fall off the ladder!
8) Christmas Cards
If you have not sent yours sent then try and write these in stages. Doing them all at once can lead to strain on your hands, wrists or elbows.
9) Christmas Travelling
Before you set off on your journey this Christmas, check the traffic and plan your route. This can help you avoid traffic jams and other delays. If you are travelling a long way make sure you break your journey every 90 minutes (or more frequently if you have back pain). This will give you a chance to get out of the car and stretch you legs, helping to stop your muscles and joints from tightening up.
10) Christmas Stress
Although Christmas can be a lovely time of the year, it can also be a stressful time. With the pressure for everything to be perfect and meeting up with family it can get too much. Mindfulness can help you deal with stress and here is a great short exercise from Shelia Bond of Living Well Mindfulness if you feel it is getting too much. Perfect to do when you need to escape for a short while. Or if you need strategies to survive the day then this podcast from Gemma McCrae of Prosperity Kitchen may help you.
I hope you find these tips helpful.
Have a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.
BSc hons, MChiro, DC
Chiropractor, Total Chiropractic