The Christmas holidays are a special time of year – a chance to kick up your heels, relax, and spend quality time with family and friends. The champagne/beer/wine’s flowing, the cricket’s on the TV, and the leftovers are seemingly endless. But for many, so too is the temptation to totally forget about good habits, and start the new year with an inevitable hangover, aches and pains, and a bit of extra padding…
While it’s fine to loosen your belt a little and relax the rules, don’t let this holiday be a complete blow out! Here’s how to easily incorporate some healthy habits into your break, and start 2019 off on the right foot.
Look after your feet
Speaking of feet, if you live in flip flops all summer long, you might be doing yours less of a favour than you think. Regular thongs offer very little in the way of arch support, encourage pronation (inwards rolling) and put foot ligaments and joints under stress as you claw your toes to keep your thongs, well, on your feet. Regular wear can result in foot, ankle and calf pain, and conditions such as Achilles tendinopathy.
Thankfully, there is a better alternative – Archies Arch Support Thongs. Equally stylish, these physio-designed thongs are the comfiest footwear you’ll ever wear. In fact, if you bump into any of the The Alignment Studio team this break, chances are we’ll be sporting our Archies!
Book a massage
It might seem indulgent, but a massage can go a long way towards easing accumulating tension during the (often fraught) festive season. Christmas parties, last-minute shopping, cooking and hosting the extended family can really take their toll, and a massage can help you soldier on by boosting your immune system and easing stress.
Instead of just watching sport from your armchair, how about gathering the troops for that great Aussie tradition – a game of beach cricket? Walk off your Christmas lunch, make tennis dates with your friends, hit the gym, go for a surf or head to yoga. Now that you actually have some free time, why not use it to stay active? You’ll feel so much better for moving your body, and won’t need to start from scratch in the new year.
Take a tech detox
Taking a break from your devices is good news for both the body and mind, and allows you to be fully present when spending time with your loved ones. You don’t need to do a total blackout, but try setting limits and work to break the constant scrolling cycle. Turning off your tech two hours before bed will also ensure you sleep more soundly over the break, meaning you’ll return to work refreshed and recharged.
Stick with the 80:20 rule
While we’re no grinches and think everyone should have a no-limits cheat day on December 25th, try not to let that become a cheat fortnight! Stick with the 80:20 rule (80% clean and 20% indulgent) as much as possible and you’ll start the new year feeling healthy and energised. Instead of bloated, sluggish and in dire need of a detox!
Pete Hunt is a highly skilled physiotherapist with nearly three decades of experience working in sports physiotherapy and private practice. The Director of The Alignment Studio, he has a special interest in musculoskeletal and sports injuries, orthopaedic rehabilitation and postural syndrome. With a caring, communicative approach, Pete uses a combination of joint and soft tissue mobilisation and exercise prescription to treat his clients. He’s also passionate about education for injury prevention and lasting results.