Shopping is a big part of the holiday season, whether you’re part of the mad crush of Black Friday, or you favor a more laid back approach. Especially if you have a number of people on your holiday gift list, the process of finding the perfect gifts for everyone can be exhausting, as well as hard on your wallet. But did you know it can also be hard on your spine? Spending hours shopping means spending hours on your feet, which can put your back, neck and shoulders at risk. Fortunately, by following a few simple guidelines, you’ll be able to spare your spine and still garner the gifts you need.
- Wear comfortable shoes. This isn’t to say you have to wear your grandmother’s orthopedic loafers, but heels are a bad idea. Not only can they put a strain on your back, but they also contribute to your risk of foot or ankle injury. Instead, choose walking shoes or athletic shoes, designed to provide healthy support.
- Ditch the heavy purse. Instead, opt for a small backpack, which will distribute weight more evenly, using your strongest muscles, those in your back and abdomen, to support it.
- Bring along a list. A list is the key to getting in and out of shopping centers quickly. When you know what you need, it’s easier to stick to a plan, and spend less time on your feet.
- Ask for help when you need it. This applies to more than one situation. First, learn to delegate when you can, so that you’re not stuck with the bulk of the buying. Then, don’t be afraid to ask store personnel to help you with heavy items or things that are high up on shelves.
- Avoid the crowds when you can. This will prevent you from bending, twisting, or being jostled as you try to maneuver through the masses, but it will also reduce the time you spend standing in line.
- Distribute weight intelligently. Carry shopping bags close to your body, and try to keep the same weight in each hand. Where possible, however, use a cart, to avoid straining your back. If you’re shopping at several different stores in the same shopping center, take your bags out to the car in several trips, to keep from having to carry them all at once.
- Stop for sustenance. Taking a break to have a snack and drink some water is a good idea. It gives you the chance to rest and recharge, and staying hydrated helps to prevent muscle spasms.
A healthy spine is extremely important to your overall wellness. That’s why our clinic offers chiropractic and other physical medicine disciplines, embracing a holistic healing approach that helps patients reach their wellness goals. For more information on how we can help you, or to schedule your free consultation call 717-767-4151.