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Physios five tips for feel-good festivities

CSP press release published on 12 December 2011

CSP publishes tips to keep people healthy during and after the festive season

As Christmas approaches, chartered physiotherapists are urging people to stay active to help keep themselves feeling good and to avoid illness and injury.

Physiotherapist Sammy Margo has worked with the Chartered Society of Physiotherapy (CSP) to develop a series of simple tips for people to follow over the festive season and in the future to help improve their general health and wellbeing. The tips are below.

Sammy says: “Christmas is a time when we want to feel at our best. But for many of us the combination of too much food and drink, lack of exercise and increased stress leave us feeling thoroughly deflated by the time the festive season gets going. And seemingly straightforward activities like decorating the house, shopping and wrapping presents can occasionally lead to injuries, particularly when we’re busy or rushed.

“Physiotherapists want people to enjoy Christmas. It’s a time for fun and for families to come together and enjoy each other’s company. The time leading up to and during the festive period is also a good opportunity to make changes to your lifestyle which will help you feel healthier in the future.”

For further media information please call the CSP press office on 020 7306 1111, email Out of hours please call Becca Bryant, head of press and PR (job-share) on 079172 40819, Jon Ryan, media and PR officer on 07917 091200 or Paul Marston, media and PR officer, on 07766 994141.

Physiotherapists five tips for feel-good festivities

1.       Keep active

 “Keeping active can be helpful in combating obesity, musculoskeletal disorders and other illnesses. The easiest, and cheapest, exercise you can do is walking and it is a great way to help you feel good. Christmas Parties are an opportunity to dance which is great exercise, too. Don’t just slump on your sofa, change position at regular intervals – even it is just to make a cup of tea,” says Sammy Margo.

Sammy’s Christmas tip: Go for at least a 30-minute walk after your Christmas lunch – and take your family with you. It’s exercise that you can all do together.

2.       Leave extra time

“Instead of trying to buy everything on one big shopping trip, stagger it and buy one item at a time,” says Sammy, “that way you get lots of exercise and might feel more relaxed. Break tasks down into manageable chunks – create a plan for the Christmas lunch doing what you can in advance and involving others.”

Sammy’s Christmas tip: Leave more time and plan your tasks. Build shopping into work lunch hours to ensure you get exercise and tasks done at the same time.

3.       Sleep well

 “Sleep affects all areas of our lives, from our moods, memory and performance at work, to our waistline and skin. So make sure you get enough – between six and eight hours is right for most people. Also check your bed is comfortable – too much pressure on a joint or muscle can lead to serious problems,” says Sammy.

Sammy’s Christmas tip: Keep your bedroom cool (between 16 and 18C) and examine your mattress and pillows – try using different numbers of pillow to find the most comfortable position for you.

4.       Don’t suffer aches and pains in silence

Sammy says: “Make yourself a New Year’s resolution to go and get aches and pains sorted out. Just doing that will help you improve your health – it’s better than throwing yourself into a new exercise regime, which could make your problem worse. Also don’t create new aches and pains – practice wearing clothing that you’re not used to, such as high heeled shoes, before going to a party.”

Sammy’s tip:  See your GP or a chartered physiotherapist. Get aches and pains assessed before starting new exercises.

5.       Work station woes

 “Many of our problems are caused by having our work stations set up incorrectly and sitting in the same position for too long. Good employers will do what they can to help ensure your work set up is right for you because they won’t want you to develop a musculoskeletal disorder, a leading cause of sickness absence. Make assessing your work station a priority task when you go back to work.”

Sammy’s tip: Speak to your employer if you’re unhappy with your work station set up and ask for an assessment.


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