The holidays come earlier every year and along with them the stresses and strains of frenzied holiday shopping. Take a stroll through the mall and you already see symbols of the approaching holiday season: Christmas decorations to notices of blowout sales. Are you ready for holiday shopping?
Our body has the capacity to do a little more than normal. However, our body does not adapt very well to doing a lot more than normal. The added demands of the season can stress the capacity of our body. We need to do everything we can to help ourselves. Eat right, drink plenty of water, stretch, exercise and take a few minutes to slow down and reflect on what the season is all about.
During this time of year many are at maximum capacity which can lead to low back pain, neck pain and headaches. Consider the following suggestions to help keep you and your loved ones happy and healthy.
Treat Holiday Shopping as an Athletic Event
- Stay hydrated! Drink eight to ten glasses of water a day. Coffee, tea, soft drinks and alcohol are dehydrators. Don’t substitute them for water. On shopping days, you may need to drink even more water.
- Be sure to stretch before and after a long day of shopping. When you are stressed your muscles are less flexible than usual. Consider a 30 minute session where Dr. Kjaer can teach you flexibility stretches.
- Wear shoes with plenty of cushioning in the soles to absorb the impact of walking on those hard mall floors. We provide state-of-the-art custom made orthotics for just this reason.
- Make sure your clothing is as comfortable as possible. It’s a good idea to wear layers because you may be going from the cold outside to a warm environment inside.
- Leave your purse at home. Wear a fanny pack or, if necessary, a light backpack instead. Pack only those items that are absolutely essential (driver’s license, credit card, etc.).
Plan Frequent Breaks into Your Shopping Day
- During a day of shopping most people should take breaks regularly. Those with less stamina may even need to take breaks more frequently.
- Obtain a locker. This can dramatically cut down on how much you have to carry. Use your breaks to go to your locker. If the mall doesn’t offer lockers, try to plan trips to your car. Don’t carry around more than is absolutely necessary.
- Skip the coffee break! Coffee and sodas contain caffeine and sugar which add even more stress to your body. Keep drinking water.
- When taking breaks, eat light foods. A salad and some fruit is a much better option than a burger and fries. Consider some of the high quality supplements we offer to minimize the stress on your body.
Shopping with Children
- Do not bring children along when possible. Most children do not have the stamina and you and your child may 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 child while you shop and vice-versa.
- 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 and sitting in a comfortable chair for another.
- Do not wrap packages while sitting on the floor. Leaning forward puts huge pressure on your low back and should be avoided. Always stretch the hamstring and low back muscles before and after you wrap gifts.
- Stretch the opposites when wrapping gifts. For example, if you spent a lot of time leaning forward while wrapping gifts, stretch backwards when you are done. Again, Dr. Kjaer offers core conditioning sessions to increase stability and flexibility of your spine.