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Exercises for Christmas Shopping Aches & Pains

Last month I wrote a blog on the Evolution of Christmas Shopping and suggested some tips on how to survive the seasonal splurge. If you do have a long day pounding the pavements or the shopping centres planned, hopefully you will wear some comfortable shoes, but if you spend longer out shopping than you are used to, you may well have achy backs, arms, legs and feet. Whilst it is tempting to sit down and relax, it is worthwhile stretching out so that you are more comfortable.

Exercises for achy backs

We all tend to start to lean forward as we walk for long periods, & carrying large heavy bags tends to exacerbate this. Try to reverse this by extending your back 

Back Extension Standing Unsupported
Stand upright with your feet hip distance apart, knees relaxed & bottom tucked under & tummy tucked in. Your shoulders should be back and arms relaxed by your sides, with your eyes focusing on the horizon.
Extend your back by arching your spine backwards. You can place your hands in the small of your back for support if you require. Start gently, and keep the exercise within your comfort zone. This exercise helps improve mobility to the lower back, and can aid balance.

Video: https://youtu.be/zATlwJ58K_Y

Standing Scapular Strengthening
Stand up tall, (as above). Place your arms just out from your side, and palms facing forwards. Squeeze your shoulder blades together as you draw your arms back. Let your chest and rib cage expand. You should feel a tightening of the muscles at the bottom of your shoulder blades. This exercise will strengthen your lower trapezius muscle and rhomboid muscles, and help with posture, especially after carrying heavy bags. .

Exercises for achy arms

Carrying heavy bags we tend to roll our shoulders forwards, and stretch our arms far more than they are normally used to. By rolling our shoulders backwards we can open out the front of our chest and relieve the tension through the shoulders and arms.

Pec Stretch

Bend your elbow 90 degrees, and rest your forearm against a door frame or wall, with your fingers pointing towards the ceiling. As you lean forwards you will feel a stretch across your upper arm, front shoulder and slightly into your chest. This exercise stretches the pectoral muscle which tighten up when your shoulders are rolled forward.

Video: http://youtu.be/OHtz3C0v9lM

Wrist Flexion Stretch

Hold the palm of your hand, and push your hand downwards to create a stretch in the top of your wrist. This exercise will help to stretch out those muscles which tighten up when you carry heavy shopping bags.

Video: http://youtu.be/gMl9dFSOehs

Exercises for tired feet & calves

Your feet are throbbing, your calves have tightened up, and you are not sure you want to get out of the car or off the bus to walk into the house. Definitely time for a little bit of one of my favourite first aid tools. The spikey massage ball.

Spikey Ball Plantar Fascia Massage Standing

Stand and place a spikey ball under the sole of your foot. Roll the ball up and down your foot, between your heel and your toes. Do not massage the heel area, but keep to the softer plantar fascia on the sole of the foot.

Video: http://youtu.be/PoEv_AOJ-s8

Spikey Ball Standing Calf Stretch

Standing up, place the ball of your foot and toes onto a spikey ball. This will create a stretch to your calf muscle at the back of the leg. Hold this stretch.

Video: http://youtu.be/K0HdgHa3-JE

Thank you again to my colleagues at REHAB My Patient for their great exercises.
If you need more advice or a tune up to ensure your are fit and healthy for Christmas don’t forgot to book your appointment now.  #osteopathyworks to keep you healthy this festive season
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