Regular and consistent practice of your home exercise program and staying physically active are essential components for managing pain from an injury or preventing regression with your treatment. However, it can be difficult to keep up with these healthy habits as holiday parties and family visits start to pick up over the next few weeks. Here are some basic tips to help you find time to take care of your body and manage pain during the holiday season:
1. Find a little extra time in the morning. Try waking up 15-20 minutes earlier than usual to do your home exercise program or go for a quick walk. Physical activity is a great way to start your day and checking it off the list before the daily activities begin can help decrease stress.
2. Add physical activity into your day. Making it to the gym can be difficult this time of year, but departing the train a stop early, taking the stairs at work, and parking far from your destination are great ways to squeeze in some extra physical activity without costing you too much time.
3. Take a break mid-day. Leaving a group of celebrating family and friends can be difficult, but taking 15-20 minutes for yourself to stretch, perform your home exercises or focus on your breathing can make a big difference. Setting an alarm on your phone can be an easy reminder to set aside this time.
4. Encourage family and friends to join you. If taking time on your own for a while can be difficult, encourage others to join you for a walk, yoga class, or stretching session in the living room.
5. Be sure to get enough sleep. Sleep is essential for pain management and staying healthy because our muscles relax during the deep phases of sleep. If you are not getting enough sleep, muscle tension that contributes to pain might be difficult to manage.
I hope these simple tips help you stay healthy and on top of your pain over the next few weeks!