|Posted on November 30, 2014 at 11:20 PM|
By Dr. David B. Starkey
The holidays seem to come earlier every year – and along with them, the stresses and strains of frenzied holiday shopping. So are you ready for the holiday shopping challenge?
Our bodies have the capacity to do more than we normally do, but our bodies do not adapt very well to doing a lot more than we normally do. The following tips will hopefully help keep you and your loved ones healthy, happy and safe this holiday season.
Treat Holiday Shopping As An Athletic Event
• First and foremost, stay hydrated! Drink eight to ten 8-ounce glasses of water a day. Coffee, tea, soft drinks and alcohol are dehydrators so don't substitute them for water. On shopping days, you may need to drink even more water.
• Stretch before and after a long day of shopping. When you are stressed, your muscles are less flexible than usual.
• Wear shoes with plenty of cushioning in the soles to absorb the impact of walking on those hard shopping mall floors.
• Make sure your clothing is as comfortable as possible. It's a good idea to wear layers, because you may be going from a cold environment (outdoors) to a warm environment (indoors).
• Leave your purse at home. Wear a light fanny pack, or if necessary, a light backpack instead. Pack only those items that are absolutely essential (driver's license, credit card, etc.)
• If you start to feel some pain, nip it in the bud. Apply an ice bag as soon as possible to the affected area for 15 minutes at least three times.
Plan Frequent Breaks and Eat Right During Your Shopping Day
• During a day of heavy shopping, most people should take a break every 45 minutes. Those with less stamina may even need to take breaks more frequently.
• Plan trips to your car to drop off items already purchased. Don't carry around more than is absolutely necessary at one time.
• When taking breaks, try to eat light foods. A salad and some fruit is a much better option than a burger and fries.
• Skip the coffee break! Coffee and sodas contain caffeine and sugar, which add even more stress to your body. Pass on the designer coffee at the java stand and drink lots of water instead.
• You need to eat better than normal during the holiday season. On average, people gain five to six pounds during the holidays. And heart attacks occur more often during the holidays as well. Eating a heavy meal and then running out on an exhausting shopping trip can be very dangerous.
Do Not Shop With Children
• If at all possible, DO NOT bring children along on your holiday shopping trips. Most children simply do not have the stamina for such an event, and you and your child will only become frustrated with one another. Don't add this type of stress to an already stressful situation.
• Try to split "child duty" up with a spouse or another parent. They'll watch your kids while you shop, and vice-versa.
• If your hands are loaded with shopping bags, you may not be able to hold your child's hand, which could increase the chances he or she might wander away from you.
Wrapping Your Gifts
• Since there is no "ideal" position for wrapping gifts, the most important thing to remember is to vary your positions. For example, try standing at a table or countertop for one package, sitting on a bed for another, sitting in a comfortable chair for another, etc.
• Do not wrap packages while sitting on the floor. Wrapping packages while sitting on a hard floor can wreak havoc on your posture, and should be avoided.
• Always stretch before and after you wrap gifts. Plus, it's a good idea to stretch the opposites. In other words, if you have been leaning forward while wrapping your gifts, stretch backward when you are done."
Chiropractic Care Can Help
If you experience pain or discomfort as a result of holiday shopping, you should seriously consider seeing your doctor of chiropractic. Your doctor of chiropractic can help alleviate your pain…so you can enjoy the holiday season as it was meant to be.