Holiday Shopping Shouldn’t Be a Pain in the Neck…or Back

Treat Holiday Shopping Like an Athletic Event

The holiday season is upon us – and with it, the aches and pains and injuries resulting from frenzied holiday shopping. Yes, we all tend to overdo it, but if you approach your next trip to the mall as you would prepare for a marathon, you should be able to ward off some of the pain.

We all have the capacity to push our bodies to the limits. Even a physically fit individual will get sore and may experience pain when overdoing any activity, and shopping is no exception. Activities such as walking, running, reaching, carrying packages can all takes it’s toll.

The season is also a time of stress, combine that with “less than healthy” indulgence in food and drink at holiday parties. This will put you at an even further disadvantage when trying to stay fit and healthy during the season.

The American Chiropractic Association (ACA) encourages shoppers to try the following hacks to help keep yourselves happy, healthy, and pain free this holiday season:

  • Eat a good meal before you start shopping so you won’t be as tempted by junk food. Warm up a bit with some stretching exercises.
  • Stay hydrated – It may be cold outside and you might not “feel” thirsty, but you still have to hydrate. Remember to drink plenty of water, before during and after a heavy shopping day.
  • Take a break every 45 minutes. If you are out of shape, you may need to rest more frequently. Listen to your body. Sit, listen to some music through your headphones, sip some hot tea.
  • Wear good quality, well fitting shoes with plenty of cushioning in the soles to absorb the impact of walking on hard floors. Leave the high heels off until the party.
  • Wear comfortable clothing and layer for warmth. You will be going from cold to warm to hot in a matter of minutes so make sure you can comfortably adjust for each temperature.
  • Leave the heavy purse at home. Wear a light messenger bag or backpack instead. Pack only the essentials – wallet, keys, and cell phone.
  • If you start to feel some pain, alternate ice and heat for a few minutes, repeat every few hours.
  • When wrapping gifts, try alternating standing and sitting positions. Make sure your aren’t forced into an awkward position, hunched over a table too low or sitting on the floor.

Follow these tips and remember to keep your fitness and wellness routines in place during the holiday. If you have sudden sharp pain or have pain lasting more than a day or two, contact your health provider for help.

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