Did you know that back problems become more common over the festive season? According to our Southend chiropractor, people push all of their physical and emotional boundaries within a range of intensive behaviours at Christmastime. And last minute Christmas shopping is one of the most frequent culprits for back pain.
At some point or another, most of us have been guilty of leaving our gift buying until the very last minute. Even though every time we do it, we vow never to do it again, another year passes and we find ourselves on yet another Christmas Eve hurtling through the aisles quicker than Santa shoots down our chimneys. Then, when we’ve finally managed to tick off our shopping lists, we trek for what seems like 170 miles back to our cars with half of Toys R Us in tow! And finally to top off an already back-busting trip, we spend our journey home on standstill; gridlocked between the masses of other regretful people who have also left their shopping until the last minute.
It’s little wonder why our backs are prone to injuries at Christmastime!
Fortunately, our Southend chiropractor has some great tips to avoid straining your back while Christmas shopping:
- Balance the weight of shopping bags evenly in each hand or use a shopping trolley.
- When standing in long queues queues, shift your weight from foot to foot.
- Walk with your stomach in and hips tucked slightly under. Use natural strides, allowing each foot to roll from heel to toe in a smooth motion.
- Where sensible, wear flat shoes that provide ample support.
- Don’t leave your Christmas shopping until the last minute! Make several small trips rather than one major over-loaded shopping spree.
- Ask a shop assistant for help with any heavy or awkward items.
- It can be difficult to find a parking space at Christmastime, so arrange for someone to drop you off or pick you up.
- Allow yourself time to take frequent rest breaks.
- Drink plenty of water to stay hydrated.
- Do your gift wrapping sitting down at a table rather than standing and bending over it or kneeling on the floor.
- Keep an eye out for any icy or slippery surfaces.
Stay organised, stay healthy and have a fantastic Christmas!
New Year’s resolutions are great ideas in theory. With the indulgent festive period over and done with, January always seems like a good a time to re-evaluate, prioritise and make changes.
But in practice, many ambitious New Year goals evaporate into self-defeating thinking and disappointment. But that doesn’t mean that all New Year’s resolutions need to end in frustration and failure. The trick is setting the right goals.
According to our Southend chiropractor, holding a plank for just one minute every morning is a very manageable fitness goal that most people can stick to. Planks are one of the best exercises you can do as they work your core and your entire body. By doing this one-minute exercise every morning, you will remind yourself to stay active all day.
When starting out you will want to start by holding it for a short period of time e.g. 15 seconds and build the time up as you get stronger. The forearm plank is slightly easier than a standard plank and is a common way of performing a plank.
Baby steps lead to epic journeys.
Note: Please consult your GP if you have any concerns about taking any form of new exercise.
Looking for a way to reenergise after that mammoth Christmas lunch? Daunted by the thought of sitting through yet another Eastenders Christmas “special” while your old aunt complains that TV isn’t what is used to be, yet insists on watching every moment of the soul-sucking story lines?
Why not go for a Christmas day stroll? The crisp December air will fill your lungs with a new surge of oomph for the rest of the day. And according to our Southend chiropractor, you’ll do your body a whole load of favours too!
Walking for just 20 minutes a day (and yes, even on Christmas Day!) has many wonderful health benefits.
Here are just a few of the incredible effects of walking:
1: Improved Mood
A brisk stroll will release endorphins that can trigger positive feelings. Most people are jolly at Christmastime, but think of how happy you will be after a mood-boosting walk!
2: Increased Energy
Most people hit an afternoon slump after munching down a hearty Christmas roast. Instead of snoozing the post-lunch lull away, pop on your trainers and go for a stroll instead! Walking will increase the flow of blood around your body and create a new surge of energy. You’ll burn off some of those Christmas calories, too!
3: Lowered Risk of Heart Disease
Christmas is a time when most of us overindulge in all things a little naughty but nice. But keeping up with regular walks over the festive period can help to offset the negative effects of those guilty Christmas pleasures. Walking for just 20 minutes a day can play a big part in reducing the risk of heart attack and stroke.
4: Longer Life Expectancy
It’s no big revelation that frequent inactivity is linked to premature death. While a few days of lounging on the sofa is unlikely to send you to an early grave, you should still try to remain active over the Christmas period.
5: Lowered Risk of Diabetes
Walking after a meal can help to lower your blood sugar and reduce your risk of type 2 diabetes. What better time to start than after that plate full of trimmings and that giant bowl full of pudding?
Enjoy a great Christmas. Enjoy great health!
With the Christmas season up on us, many of us may be thinking about chilling out on the sofa in front of the TV a little more than we normally do. However, time spent lounging on the sofa watching TV could be making us ill.
In a recent interview published in The Echo, Arif, explains how damaging sitting down can be to our health. He also shares his own secrets to vitality and good health.
Read the interview here: Echo-feature-on-Arif-Soomro
Ray Clark, from Braintree, has been a gamekeeper and farm worker for over 40 years. Ten years ago, the 65-year old, started feeling pain in his knees when he was walking around the estate; X-rays revealed he would need a knee-replacement within the next three years.
He did nothing for a couple of years, then he visited Arif at Cliffs Chiropractic Clinic, for a consultation.
Ray had led a physical life which over time reduced the cartilage lining the bony surfaces of his knees.This is known as degeneration or osteoarthritis. The roughening of the moving surfaces creates friction and inflammation, resulting in joint stiffness and, often, pain in the surrounding muscles and ligaments. Physically examining and x-raying Ray’s knees confirmed the diagnosis.
The treatment would involve chiropractic to adjust and improve the movement, acupuncture to reduce the acute inflammation and supplements and nutrients to improve the cartilage and reduce the chronic inflammation that occurs in conditions like osteoarthritis.
Even though Ray’s osteoarthritis is advanced the treatment has delayed the need for a replacement by several years and he can continue working as normal.
Ray says, “I’ve had eight years of monthly acupuncture, and take daily glucosamine with chondroitin and MSM (methylsulfonylmethane) supplements, which help my flexibility.
“Of course, I have my good days and my bad days but I’ve been able to work on the estate unhindered by pain since I started my treatment. At 65 I feel very fit, in fact fitter than ever and, importantly, I don’t need a knee replacement operation.
“Not yet at any rate.”
If you’re like many of the patients we treat, your hectic lifestyle may mean that you regularly go whole weeks without properly relaxing. Between your work, looking after the children and doing your share of the housework, it can sometimes seem that life passes you by in a frenzy of frazzling duties.
And if you’re struggling to find any downtime during an average week, the build up to Christmas is probably looking incredibly time-sapping.
But our Southend chiropractor warns that if you don’t make time for yourself this Christmas, you could be putting yourself at risk of developing stress-related health problems, including back pain.
Remember that everyone has the same 24 hours in each day; the key to good time management is effective personal management.
Christmas is the time for giving, so this year, think about giving something to yourself. After all, there is nothing more precious than the gift of good health.