Tips for a WONDERFUL Holiday Season

Tis the season to be thankful, FA LA LA LA, LA LA LA!!  I am grateful for all that my body does for me, but I would still appreciate if it complained a little less during this busy time.  From the hours of standing while cooking a big meal for Thanksgiving, or the hours of traveling it takes to visit family, or setting up the holiday decorations, or standing in lines for early holiday shopping, these are movements that occur intensely around the holidays which make our bodies protest with tight and aching muscles.

Follow these tips and your holiday season will be WONDERFUL!

Warm-up – If you’ve got a big day ahead of you, don’t forget to warm-up for it!  Even activities like cooking and shopping benefit from a brief warm-up to get the blood flowing.
Open chest – Shoulders rounded forward from working at your computer? Keep your shoulder blades down and back, so that your chest is open.
Neck up – Remember to take breaks from all those electronic devices you’re looking down at.  Take frequent breaks to look up and stretch your neck, or hold your device out in front of you so you don’t have to look down all the time.
Drink water – It’s important to stay hydrated, so if you’re feeling fatigued, hungry, dizzy, or thirsty, make sure you’re getting enough water.  We sometimes forget to drink water when it’s cold out, so don’t wait until you’re thirsty, that’s already a sign that you are dehydrated.
Exercise – Make sure you get some movement every day.  Exercise helps you feel energized and will keep you strong.
Rest – Make sure you get enough rest, whether it’s taking a break while cooking, shopping, or getting to bed early.  Rest is important for a strong immune system.
Full body stretching – Stretching out your aching muscles is a great way to relax and unwind at the end of the day.  Take a few minutes to relieve some of the tension from the day and you’ll sleep better and wake up better too.
Use good support – Whether packing for a trip or just walking around, make sure you have good support.  When traveling use backpacks to better distribute the weight of your bag.  Wear good, supportive shoes when you’re on your feet a lot.

Lengthen – Think about lengthening your body throughout the day.  Think about engaging your core, and standing tall with your head over your shoulders.

I hope these tips will help you have a more mindful holiday season.  If you have any questions or need help recovering from an injury, call L A R Physical Therapy at 410.381.1574 or email to schedule an appointment.

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