Have a Happy and Healthy Holiday

As you battle the holiday rush to deck the halls, cross off every gift on your list, and prepare delicious dishes, this hectic season can become detrimental to your health. Take a moment to consider how the holidays are weighing on your spine, nerves and muscles in your back, and learn ways to enjoy the holidays while reducing the pressure on a major source of your body’s strength.

Smart Shopping

Before you join the crowds, consider your comfort and muscles. Wear comfortable clothes and footwear that provides support. Avoid carrying multiple shopping bags by taking a trip to the car to drop off your newly purchased items. The trip will save your back some trouble while also adding more calorie-burning to your day. Balance the weight of purchases equally between arms, or use a shopping cart to help tote them. Always ask a sales associate for help when reaching for an item on a higher shelf, and bend from the knees when checking out a low shelf.

Proper Party Posture

As you prepare your favorite holiday dish or engage in another activity that requires prolonged standing, stand with one knee bent with a foot propped on a stool. Switch legs as you cook to alternate stress from taking a toll on one side of the body.

When you’re traveling to a family member’s house, place a rolled towel or pillow under your lower back while sitting in a car or plane. While at holiday parties and potlucks, your time may be spent holding new babies or toddlers your loved ones have welcomed into the family. If you’re not accustomed to holding youngsters, this activity may put strain on your back. Remember, when lifting, use your leg muscles rather than back muscles, and take a break by passing the infant to another friend or relative eager to hold the little one.

Dedicated to Health While Decorating

Decorating your home can be a fun activity, but thinking of safety first can save your back and other parts of your body from injury.

When decorating your house, always look out for safety hazards. Ensure trees and gifts don’t block pathways and cause a fall risk. Never use real candles on a Christmas tree, and check lights to make sure the wires aren’t frayed and that strings of lights don’t overload the circuit.

When hanging holiday lights or other decorations, be sure to secure the ladder and ask for help when needed. Inspect the ladder for any loose areas, and make sure you set it up on a solid, flat surface. Move the ladder often so you can avoid leaning and reaching.

If your driveway or sidewalk is covered with fallen leaves or snow, wear shoes that have traction to reduce the risk of falling. Think of these chores as athletic activities, and always remember to stretch out before working.


nsc.gov, spine-health.com, orthoinfo.aaos.org, kidshealth.org

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