The Silly Season: Part 2

Christmas bearSo after following the advice from my previous blog, all of your Christmas presents have been bought and you didn’t even feel a twinge!  Its time to give yourself a big pat on the back and go and out and enjoy your Christmas party.  But before you do, take a quick look at these handy hints and tips for keeping your joints and muscles in good working order as you partake in the festivities.

More often than not, a Christmas party will involve a lot of either sitting, or standing, or both!  Sitting down for a 3 course meal can take a couple of hours at least.  And let’s face it, the chairs are not like your comfy ones at home.  Space at and around the table is often at a premium as well.  Where possible, try to get up from your chair every 30 minutes.  This can easily be done by making a visit to the bathroom between each course.  By doing this, you will help to keep your joints well oiled and your muscles loose.

However, not all Christmas parties involve a sit down meal.  It’s not uncommon for the meal to be skipped, making the bar the first port of call, and as a result having to stand up from start to finish.  If this is sounding familiar then there are some useful tips here as well.

Even when standing still, there are many muscles that are contracting to hold you in that posture.  After a while those muscles will be unable to continue their contraction without fatigue setting in.  A substance called lactic acid starts to build up in the muscle causing it to tighten and become painful.

Your joints also need to move.  Prolonged standing in one position causes increased loads on the joints.  Keeping the joints moving prevents irritation to the joints and allows the joints’ natural lubricant, synovial fluid, to flow more readily.

Firstly, it may sound obvious, but where possible always try to find a seat for at least some portion of the evening.  A lone bar stool often becomes available so take the load off when the opportunity presents itself, and as silly as it sounds, maybe take turns within the group, a kind of bar stool time share if you will?!

In the absence of this option, frequently shift your weight from the right leg to the left, to give your joints and muscles a much needed break.  Another good tip is to try to stand with a slight bend in the knees.

Footwear plays a very important role when it comes to Christmas party comfort.  A shoe with an arch built into the sole, and/or a slightly lower heel, can help to keep the foot in a more neutral position.  This helps with ankle, knee, hip and back alignment.  So if you are standing still for a prolonged period of time you may find this more comfortable.

Finally, take care on the dance floor!  We all like to cut some rug at this time of year, especially after a glass of mulled wine, but leave the break dancing to Diversity (one for the Britain’s Got Talent fans among us!).

From myself at Help to Health, have a fantastic and safe Christmas party, and by following these few handy tips you may still have a little left in the tank for new year!