The Christmas season is here and December can easily be one of the busiest months of the year. We’re attending Christmas parties left, right and centre. We’re catching up with friends, new and old. We’re visiting family and those nearest and dearest to us. We’re putting up Christmas trees and Christmas lights; hanging baubles and bells.
From standing at endless Christmas parties and shopping centre cues; to cleaning, cooking, wrapping and decorating – we’re standing and sitting for extended periods of times or rushing from one event to the next. So, let’s keep in mind our spinal health, and the small habits we can make each day, to make sure our spine gets that extra TLC it needs this December.
So, let’s JINGLE (Just start walking, Invest in a chiropractor, Notice your posture, Get enough sleep, Learn to stretch and Eat right) all the way to Christmas day and the end of the year.
J – Just start walking: Walking is one of the best things we can do to maintain the health of our spines. Walking nourishes our spinal structures and conditions the muscles that keep us in an upright position. Not to mention, walking helps to open up the blood vessels, increasing the supply of oxygen and nutrients to the muscles that surround your spine. You can download the ACA’s Just Start Walking app, which allows you to track and map your walks, so you can monitor your progress.
I – Invest in a chiropractor: Your spinal health is very important to your overall health. Chiropractors focus on the detection and correction of abnormal spinal function and its subsequent effect on how the nervous system controls and coordinates the body. Your local ACA chiropractor can also offer advice and assistance to help you make appropriate lifestyle choices and reduce the risk of spinal health issues arising in the first place. Use our Find a Chiro search engine here.
N – Notice your posture: Poor posture throughout the day can really add up; from standing in the kitchen for hours on end, cooking enormous Christmas feasts, to standing up at Christmas parties, to hunching over while wrapping Christmas presents and using our devices constantly – poor posture can lead to a plethora of health issues, not to mention straining your spinal discs! Sit up or stand tall (with your chest out) and be mindful of your posture throughout the day.
G – Get enough sleep: The average adult needs eight hours sleep per night to recharge and reset the body. The festive season is full of Christmas events that go on well into the late evening! Try to leave at a reasonable hour so you can get enough sleep. Remember to sleep on your back or side, and invest in a ergonomic pillow or mattress for that extra spinal support.
L – Learn to stretch: The endless hustle and bustle of Christmas can be stressful and certainly takes its toll on your spine – from endless standing, rushing around and household chores; to carrying heavy objects like Christmas trees and presents! Take five-minute breaks throughout the day to do some quick stretches, to recharge your body and your spine. Download the ACA’s Straighten Up app, which provides effective three-minute stretching programs which you can do at home, work or on the go!
E – Eat right: As Christmas is here, we all know that involves delicious mid-week feasts, Christmas lunches, drinks and dinners with colleagues, friends, and family. It’s a great way to connect and spread some Christmas cheer. But with all this extra eating and drinking, make sure you’re eating enough fruits and vegetables, which are high in vitamins and minerals, as well as protein-based foods, like poultry, meat and legumes for vegetarians. Also, make sure to stay hydrated and drink enough water throughout the day. Eight to ten glasses is key.