What we’ll cover
5 tips to stay healthy and injury free this Christmas holiday period
With Christmas and holidays just around the corner, our physiotherapist Sarah Yule shares her 5 best tips to help keep you and your family healthy and injury free this festive season.
Christmas time is often a fun time of year spent celebrating with family and friends, however this also means that it is often an indulgent time of year, with multiple social events causing us to eat and drink more and exercise less.
So this year when making your Christmas lists and checking them twice, perhaps it’s worth thinking about the gift that keeps on giving; your health.
Exercise is a great way to keep our bodies moving, try to make physical activity a regular part of your holiday routine. Getting active is a great way to spend time with friends, family, children and grandchildren – it’s also very important to promote physical activity across all generations.
To meet the National Physical Activity Guidelines, children require a minimum of 60 minutes of moderate intensity physical activity each day, with adults requiring a minimum of 30 minutes each day.
Consistency is key
How often and for how long you exercise should be an individual decision that is based on what you are used to, and what you intend to come back into following the holiday break. Large fluctuations in training load or coming back too quickly following time off is one of the most common reasons for people injuring themselves at this time of year.
A simple way of managing load is to ensure that the amount of exercise you do in a week is never increased by more than 30% of your average weekly exercise over the past month. For example, if you have averaged a total of 3 weekly hours of exercise over than past month, then in your next week you should do no more than 4 hours of total exercise.
Avoid prolonged sitting
It is a common time of year to spend long periods of time sitting, as we socialise with friends and family, spend time on the couch recovering from Christmas lunch/dinner and spend long periods of time sitting in a car travelling to/from favourite holiday destinations.
Sitting for long periods of time has been shown to be detrimental on our health and can lead to the onset of low back pain as well as increase the likelihood of developing certain chronic illnesses such as obesity, diabetes, cardiovascular disease and some forms of cancer.
Try following these simple tips:
- Avoid sitting for longer than 30 minutes.
- Take regular breaks to stretch your legs when driving/ travelling.
- When travelling, try a short walk when you arrive to your destination.
Be mindful of your posture
Take care of your spine when carrying around heavy bags filled with last minute Christmas shopping. If you are currently in pain or are managing an injury/ long-term condition, try to avoid the mad rush to clean your house in the hours before relatives arrive. There is no point in having it pristine clean when as a result you leave yourself in agony! Try to stay organised and pace yourself.
Enjoy things in moderation
Christmas is a fun time of year to celebrate with family and friends by eating delicious food and drink. Setting regular meal times is an easy way to stop the mindless grazing all day. It’s ok to enjoy those indulgent treats too, just try to be mindful of portion sizes.
From everyone at Malvern East Physiotherapy, we hope you enjoy a safe and healthy holiday season. Should you require our physiotherapy services throughout this time, we will be remaining open so please either call us or book online here.