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The Irish Society of Chartered Physiotherapists

Keeping Active Over Christmas

During the Christmas it is inevitable that our activity levels may reduce or grind to a halt as we relax and take shelter from the cold. Family and friends arrive to the house to visit, and we live a slightly more sedentary lifestyle for a week or more. As well as that the nutrition goes out the window as more and more boxes or chocolates, biscuits and Christmas desserts make their way onto the kitchen table. Again, all fine, enjoy it all.

However, you may find at this period of the year joint stiffness, muscle soreness or tightness start to creep in. Its important to enjoy ourselves but 20 hours of a Harry Potter or Lord of the Rings marathon isn’t going to leave favourable results on our bodies. For those who aren’t into sitting on the couch all day maybe your active daily walk or trip to the gym will be halted due to weather conditions or family and friends calling in for a catch up.

So, to prevent the stiff back, sore feet, stiff necks, and sore shoulders bothering you and ruining the Christmas here are some activity ideas you can try at home, plus you won’t feel as bad for eating the chocolates and drinking the mulled wine.

Step 1:

Stretching: Pick a different area every hour and stretch it 6-8 times for 20 seconds.

  • Neck
  • Shoulders
  • Glutes
  • Quads
  • Hamstrings
  • Calves

Step 2:

MOVE: Every 1-2 hours pick one of the following. *Some are more advanced than others, do what you can manage*

  • Walking 20 minutes
  • Climb the stairs 10 times (without the mulled wine!!)
  • Sit and stand from the chair 20 times & touch your toes 20 times
  • Roll shoulders 20 times each way & jog/march on the spot for 2 minutes.
  • 2-3 rounds of 10 wall push ups & star jumps 20
  • 2-3 rounds: Body weight Squat x 20, bicep curls x 10, Glute bridge x 10, push up’s x 10-15
  • 3 rounds at 20 seconds each exercise:
    Reverse lunge, jump squats, mountain climbers and star jumps.
  • 3 Rounds at 25 seconds:
    Burpees, plank, star jumps, air bikes and Jogging on the spot

Step 3:

Stretch, RELAX and ENJOY the day.

What to do if your back/neck starts getting sore?

Step 1: Don’t panic, get some heat onto the area with a hot water bottle for 10-15 minutes.

Step 2: Do some gentle stretching of the area after you have applied heat.

Step 3: Try your best to do some gentle movements such as turning your head, twisting your body or going for a walk.

Step 4: give Galway Bay Physio a call as we will be open during the Christmas break.

Darragh Bolton

Wishing all our patients, suppliers and friends a healthy and happy Christmas

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