PAIN-FREE COOKING AVOID INJURY THIS THANKSGIVING
Whenever an activity involves heavy lifting or repetitive motion, it’s important to take steps to prevent injury. While back pain, carpal tunnel, and sore shoulders are normally associated with work-related injuries, it’s important to note that these issues can also result from working in the kitchen if you’re not careful. With the big feast coming up at the end of the month, here’s a guide to pain-free cooking! MIX IT UP Even if you’re just chopping carrots or peeling potatoes, you may be exposing yourself to a repetitive strain injury. Standing for long periods with your shoulders hunched forward is also bad for your back. While it’s always important to keep an eye on your posture, the best way to avoid pain and stiffness is to do a mixture of activities in short bursts. If you’re cooking with family, consider swapping jobs every six or seven minutes to give your body a break from the same motions and positions. USE YOUR TOOLS If you are older or suffer from arthritis, this is an especially important point. Ergonomic kitchen utensils
are available to make many cooking tasks, from slicing to stirring, easier to handle. Using oven mitts rather than pot holders also lets you grip hot items with greater confidence and reduces the likelihood of an accident. LIFTING THE TURKEY All right, here’s the big one: One of the easiest ways to hurt your back is to lift a heavy object while simultaneously twisting your torso — the exact thing one might do when trying to take a turkey out of the oven in a single fluid motion. Do not put yourself and the feast at risk. Lift with your legs, straighten all the way up, and then turn to where you want to carve it. No one wants to throw their back out before Black Friday. We hope you have a safe and happy start to the holiday season. If any aches or pains develop as the weather gets colder, feel free to swing by and let our physical therapy experts get you moving again!
KEEPING YOUR HEALTH
Eat Well and Exercise This Holiday Season
WHILE YOU’RE EATING With Thanksgiving and Christmas only a month apart, it’s important to watch what you’re eating. Having a second helping of your favorite apple pie might seem like a great idea at the time, but it could have you full of regret later on. Avoid overeating, eating too quickly, and having second helpings of sugary foods and drinks. Take your time and eat smart while enjoying your favorite holiday food choices. SET GOALS An excellent way to keep yourself in check is to set goals for yourself. If you’re like many other people and have a hard time setting and keeping your goals, try a method that’s helped many others, like S.M.A.R.T. Make your goals specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and timely. ENJOY YOURSELF Having a day or two with little to no activity won’t crumble an otherwise healthy life. While the holiday is here, enjoy yourself, your family, and the food you’ve been waiting for — but keep yourself in check. Have fun while making sure that your lazy days don’t stretch until the end of the year.
Going to the gym during the holidays can be nearly impossible. With family coming into town, work obligations, shopping, and cooking, many people are hard- pressed to commit to their regular workout routine. Finding the time for physical activity might be challenging, but it is possible. WHILE YOU’RE OUT Going out and about to do some last-minute shopping is the perfect chance for you to stretch your legs and engage in some light physical activity. Head to the mall or a shopping center where there is some space between stores to get your heart pumping. WHILE YOU’RE HOME If you can’t find time to go to the gym, you can easily put together a quick workout in your living room or yard. Try to be active daily, even if it’s only for 15 minutes. Here are a few simple options: Go on a walk; do jumping jacks, squats, or lunges; or play a game with your younger family members.
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