Winter holidays are full of hustle and bustle, shopping, decorating cooking, and celebrations. While the holidays are a time of merriment and good cheer, they can also be a time of stress and overexertion.
Following these 10 chiropractor tips for the holidays can help you enjoy a healthy, low-stress holiday season.
Use proper lifting techniques
Protect your back when moving and unpacking boxes of decorations from the attic, basement, or garage, and loading and unloading shopping packages to and from the car. Chiropractors stress that we can never be reminded of proper lifting techniques too often. Remember to bend from your knees, use your legs not your back to lift, and never bend or twist your body while lifting. Use a back brace for support if necessary.
Shopping early has many advantages. Early shopping can reduce your stress levels and the amount of time you spend waiting in lines. If you find yourself waiting in long lines, try to ease the stress on your back by practicing correct standing posture. Stand straight yet relaxed; stand tall and lengthen your spine comfortably. Keep your knees soft, not locked.
Use the stairs
Holidays are notorious for adding a few extra pounds to the belly. Get a head start on your new year’s resolutions by using the stairs instead of the elevator and walking up and down the escalator.
Use a cart instead of a hand basket
Omaha chiropractors recommend using a push-cart for your shopping activities. This will help reduce the amount of stress on your back, neck, and shoulders. If you must use a hand basket, the best way to carry the basket is to hold it by the handle with both hands, centered close to your torso. Avoid carrying it on one side or hanging it on your wrist.
Pay attention to your online shopping posture
Online shopping is a great way to help reduce stress and long lines but long periods at a computer can cause pain and stiffness if proper sitting posture is not practiced. Sit with your feet flat on the floor, with your back naturally against the chair, and relax your shoulders back and down. Remember to allow regular breaks from sitting to walk and stretch.
Drink plenty of fluids to help your body stay hydrated. Consume alcohol and caffeinated beverages in moderation. Water helps flush out toxins and is a natural choice for rehydration, especially if you have overindulged in some holiday spirits.
Make smart food choices at holiday parties
Be mindful of what you eat. The amount and types of food you eat affect your mood, energy, and physical state of being. Limit sweets, starches, and salt. Vegetables are a healthy snack; so stand close to the veggie platter.
Learn to say no thank-you
You don’t have to attend every holiday party just because you receive an invitation. If you are overwhelmed with engagements, it’s okay to thank your hosts for the invitation, send your best wishes, and let them know you are already committed to another engagement.
Take a few moments to breathe deeply
Poor breathing limits your oxygen intake and adds stress to the smaller muscles in your upper body, producing tension and fatigue. To breathe correctly, use your diaphragm, the large muscle between your lungs and abdomen. Place one hand on your chest and one hand on your stomach. Take a deep breath. If your stomach moves out, you are using your diaphragm for regular deep breaths. Practice slow, deep breathing to reenergize yourself.
Laugh and smile
Laughing and smiling produces endorphins that relieve stress and promote health. Enjoy your family and friends this holiday season and consider volunteering your time or donating a gift to someone in need.