What’s wrong with that, I hear you all cry! Nothing, really. Especially when you’ve worked extra-hard in the run-up to the holidays in rabid anticipation of being off work and indulging in lots of relaxation, food, drink and telly-time.
But everything comes at a price.
I always say that “We pay for our play” and it’s extra-true over Christmas when there’s not a whole lot to do but become a sofa sloth watching marathon amounts of telly – foodbag in one hand and alcoholic bevvie in the other. Although such indulgences wouldn’t normally be equated within anything as active as ‘play’ they are one in the same and can cost you dear. All that slouching about on the sofa or extra time spent reading or sleeping in bed might be good for the soul but it’s bad for the bod – especially if you are over your first (and possibly second) flush of ‘youth’. Ask any massage therapist, physio, chiro or osteopath and they will confirm that a shocking number of injuries done to the back, hips, knees and even feet can occur in repose – when we are either sleeping or relaxing.
So, if you don’t want to spend Christmas with multiple hangovers AND a bad back, take some simple steps to keep limber, help your digestion and, if you’re really a champion human slug, help you stave off DVT.
1) Go for a 30-minute walk once a day. The gentle exercise of walking can help clear your mind, increase your circulation, expand your lung capaciy and digest your food. Your body (and your pet, if you have one) will thank you for it and you will have earned that post-walk piece of cake!
2) If you are determined to beat the world telly-watching record, make sure you get up and move about every 1-2 hours, even if it is just to make a cup of tea. Roll you shoulders back, make circles with your wrist and ankle joints whilst you wait for the kettle to boil – go for ‘gold’ and do a couple of upward and downward stretches as well. All great athletes have to diversify their routines to remain at the top of their game, so you will be in good company.
3) Give yourself a daily, mini-massage with the Kneader (or better still, get someone to do it for you). It can be just 5 mins on the shoulders, lower back, arms or the thighs/hips – all the ‘lounging pressure areas’. Better still, get relaxed AND clean and have a rub with the Kneader in the shower or bath – the soap will act as a lubricant and the warm water will really add to the experience.
4) Do a simple stretching routine (about 10 mins) in the morning just out of bed and in the evening just before bed.
If you fancy trying out some simple Yoga, below is a link to a site that has both a diagram of and a YouTube link to a simple Sun Salutation routine, which stretches all the major muscle groups. Remember, only do what feels comfortable – yogic gurus don’t happen overnight.
If getting down on the floor is enough of a workout for you, then that’s fine too. Below is an attachment for a simple floor stretching routine from a good site called the ‘Iron Librarian’. Only do what you can and hold the poses for about 15 seconds (you must count slooooowly…) and breath deeply and evenly as you do so.
Kneads Must wishes you all a wonderful Christmas and an even better New Year!