The Silly Season Is Upon Us!

Christmas bearIt’s that time of year again. The first few doors on the advent calendar have been opened, the turkey has been ordered and the office party is just days away. Unless you are hibernating like most sensible animals, you can’t help but notice that it is indeed Christmas, again!

Over the lead up to Christmas, Help to Health will offer some useful tips for a happier, healthier (this does not mean less fun!) time this year.

Shopping. The preparations for Christmas always begin with the dreaded Christmas shopping. Although shopping involves copious amounts of walking around the many shops trying to buy the perfect gift for your loved ones, do not be fooled into believing that this counts as exercise! Walking slowly, which is the usual pace of a typical shopping visit, is almost as bad for your back as standing still for the same length of time.

All movable joints, called synovial joints, produce a substance called synovial fluid. This is the joints‘ own natural lubricant. The more a joint moves the more synovial fluid it produces.

Slow walking will load the joints greatly but may not produce the same amount of synovial fluid as a more brisk pace might. Try to up the pace a little in order to prevent this from happening to you. As a bonus you could finish your shopping more quickly and be home in time for lunch, everyone’s a winner!

One common reason for a more gentle pace whilst Christmas shopping is carrying all the bags of gifts that you have bought for the lucky recipients. From my own experience today at Lakeside shopping centre (not the best day off I’ve ever had), I repeatedly saw examples of shoppers trying to carry all of their bags in one hand while either eating on the go or being on the ‘phone with the other. Time is obviously of the essence at this time of year, and I could hardly stop myself thinking ‘if only they had read my last newsletter – take a break’.

Firstly the advice here is to distribute the load evenly between the right and the left hand thus ensuring that none of the joints or muscles are being overloaded at any one time. Secondly take a break! Do this at regular, even time intervals. By following this advice your muscles and joints will feel fine and dandy throughout the run up to Christmas, at least as far as shopping goes anyway.

Happy shopping people, and look out for the next Help to Health tip of the day!