Sitting in a car or on a plane for long periods can cause everything from knee pain to back pain and blood clots.
How to deal: Stop every couple of hours to get blood circulating. Lumbar support pillows may also help prevent lower-back pain. Stretching out hip flexor muscles helps relieve back pain: kneel on one knee with the opposite foot forward in a lunge position/staggered stance with hands on hips; tighten abdominals. Perform a pelvic tilt by pushing hips forward until you feel a pull; avoid arching the back.
Standing for hours, chopping vegetables and lifting heavy pans in and out of an oven can cause aches and pains.
How to deal: Start with a good night's rest. Get up and go for a light walk to loosen and warm up muscles before you begin the day's activities. Since many of the main tasks involve squatting, standing hunched over and reaching while carrying heavy objects, perform a few moves that mimic these actions to prepare muscles. In addition, take a five-minute break every hour or so and pace yourself.
Taking advantage of holiday sales often requires lining up with other bargain hunters, sometimes for long stretches of time.
How to deal: Use a cart to carry items instead of stressing fingers and hands. Try to get in a morning workout before you go shopping and eat a healthy breakfast so you're in the best shape to handle the stress. To prevent leg aches, hold onto your cart and perform simple calf raises by rising up onto the balls of your feet and slowly lowering back down 10 times.
You don't have to be a participant on Dancing With the Stars to get caught up in dance fever around the holidays. Problem is, if you're unaccustomed to the activity, you may find yourself with sore and strained muscles.
How to deal: Choose shoes with good arch support and a heel no higher than one to two inches (or bring along a spare pair of flats). Use antiperspirant on your feet before donning socks or stockings to limit friction and help prevent blisters. Soft cushioning in the soles of the shoes may also help, as can blister pads to cushion the heel.
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