Holiday Healthy Habits
It’s that time of year again when the fancy china comes out, family comes in from out of town, and everyone’s table is filled with laughter and food! The holiday season crams itself into the end of the year and inevitably makes everyone start thinking about their health. It’s not always about weight loss and nutrition around the holidays though, our bodies go through intense strain with the changing weather, walking miles around malls, family front-yard football games, and any number of activities can make us susceptible to injury. We here at Suburban Orthopaedics are no different and as the Holidays approach we took a few minutes to sit down with Dr. Ankur Chhadia and ask him about some helpful hints to keep our bodies healthy and prevent injuries.
As the season change from fall to winter and the temperature begins to drop we often do not notice the effect the weather has on our bodies until it is too late. Aches and pains often become more prominent in winter months and can be signs and symptoms of various problems. As Dr. Chhadia says “The cool weather of the fall and winter months does tend to exacerbate conditions such as arthritis and tendinitis Staying active, keeping warm, and using anti-inflammatory medications are simple things that people can do to counteract these symptoms.”
It is no secret that many of us become more active in the winter months. Holiday shopping sends millions of us out onto the road and into stores and malls. Walking, waiting in line, holding bags and bags of goods can unknowingly place strain on your body. Dr. Chhadia suggests that when you’re planning marathon shopping trips to keep the following things in mind.
- Keep Good Posture: When we stand in line for a long time, especially after a long day of shopping we tend to let our posture slip. Knees can lock out, shoulders begin to hunch over, and our back begins to hold all the weight of our bodies, stress, and bags! When you are waiting remember that good posture will help to prevent soreness and injury.
- Take a Trip to the Car: If you are doing some heavy duty shopping at multiple stores, once you have too many bags to carry, or for very heavy items, head to the car and drop off some purchases and unload some extra weight and burden while you shop.
- Listen to your body: When you’re tired or starting to ache, head home. This might be the most difficult tip to follow but our bodies have a way of telling us we have had enough. When you start to feel as though you have reached your limit head home to relax and unwind!
Aside from the super shoppers many of us still stay active with working out, playing sports, or even trying to get a head start on those New Year’s Resolutions! Whenever you begin an exercise program you should make sure you are properly warmed up, stretched, and keep an eye out for signs of injury. The proper warm up for any activity is between ten and fifteen minutes. A proper stretch should be “a routine part of your daily exercise regimen. Stretches focused on both sides of the joint are important. For example in the lower extremities stretching the thigh muscles and tendons on the front (quadriceps) and the back (hamstrings) are recommended” says Dr. Chhadia. If you like to play basketball, run on the treadmill, take a Zumba class, or even just use the free weights you should always know the proper techniques and fundamentals to help prevent yourself from being injured. Dr. Chhadia says there are a few warning signs you should be aware of to protect yourself from further injury and they are “persisting pain or soreness beyond a few days. Impact activities can lead to excess stress on joints leading to inflammation and pain that persists. ”
As the Holidays approach we want to remind you all that despite the possibility of injury and how trying to stay healthy can be strenuous, keep in mind that time with family and friends is time to rest and relax as well! We want to wish all of our patients, employees, associates, and friends a very happy and healthy holiday season!