With Black Friday behind us, the holiday shopping season is in full force. I figured now would be a good time to post some shopping tips. The stress of the holidays can really take a toll on our bodies, especially because our bodies do not adapt very well to doing a lot more than we usually do. It is imperative to do everything you can to help yourself.
- Drink plenty of water! Shopping trips should be treated like athletic events. Be sure to drink at least eight to ten 8-ounce glasses of water a day. This is usually made easiest by buying a "Nalgene type PBA-free plastic bottle" and refilling it with water throughout the day. Coffee, tea, soft drinks and alcohol are dehydrators, and should not be substituted for water.
- Take a break! Most of us do not work at physically demanding jobs eight hours a day. Therefore, our bodies are not used to being on their feet for 4-5 hour periods. Try to take a break every hour for 15 minutes. During this break try to eat a light snack such as fruit or nuts.
- Wear comfortable shoes! Shoes should have plenty of cushioning in the soles to absorb the impact of walking on hard floors found in malls and department stores. Try wearing a pair of sneakers that is appropriate for your type of foot versus stylish boots or heels.
- Leave the big purse at home! Try bringing a smaller bag filled with essentials such as credit cards, money, license, chapstick and cell phone. The bigger, heavier bag will put a lot of pressure on one shoulder, leading to muscular imbalance of your upper back and neck.
- Ice! After a long day of shopping or work followed by shopping, apply ice to any areas that may be sore. Apply the ice for 15 minutes each hour as needed.
- Wrap while standing! Many people sit on the floor while wrapping presents. This can wreak havoc on your posture and set you up for neck or back pain. Try to wrap presents while standing at a counter top for a little while then switch to sitting at the counter top or table. By switching wrapping positions every 15 minutes or so you will slow down the fatigue process encountered by muscles.
There is a reason why depression levels are so high during the holiday season. We all push our bodies to the max due to family, financial and work responsibilities. Try following these tips to make your holiday season more enjoyable, and more importantly slow down, and remember what this season is about: friends and family.