It’s about that time of year where snow paints the branches of the trees, ice coats the lakes, and the cool winter air hits your face as you step outside each morning. To most people, you’d think it’s January, but here in the northland this is called your typical Fall day. This time of year, we all look forward to celebrating the holidays with our loved ones and our exercise/rehab habits drop quicker than the grape I just dropped on the floor. So, let’s make a PRE – New Year’s resolution: to not let our bodies get as stiff as an over baked Christmas cookie.
To all of my fellow people that are going to be braving the weather and driving 4 hours to celebrate the holidays; here are a couple tips to try and maintain MOBILITY, since we won’t have our usual time to get our “at home” rehab completed.
TIP 1 – Road Trip Rolling
While you’re sitting in (NOT driving) the car, bring a tennis ball or stick roller to loosen up the muscles of your legs, back, and shoulders. This is a great way to try and keep your mobility instead of getting stiff from sitting in the same position for hours on end. You can get creative with your timing, and do a few minutes of rolling here and there. Otherwise, you can perform rolling for as long as you so well please. The bottom line is to try and do SOMETHING.
TIP 2 – Pit Stop, Won’t Stop
If you stop for gas, a bathroom break, etc. try to get in a short walk or some quick standing stretches while you’re at the pump. Again, it doesn’t have to be for a long period of time, but your body will thank you for the movement. Motion is lotion, people!
TIP 3 – Mid-trip Mobility
Try to do some range of motion or stretching exercises while you’re sitting in the car. You can stretch your neck and shoulders, glutes, chest, and hamstrings, to name a few. Any little bit of movement you can get will be beneficial. Ultimately, it’s the little things that go a long way.
TIP 4 – Bedtime Bend Session
If you are spending the night at the place where you are spending your holidays, try to get a few minutes of stretching or rolling in right before you go to sleep or after you wake up. Again, the little things go a long way, and some stretching of those hip flexors before you sit pretzel style to open up Santa’s gifts are a great place to start.
TIP 5 – Family Fitness Fun
Start an exercise-based holiday tradition! This could be a Turkey Trot, family football game, 12 days of Christmas workout, after-dinner walk, or whatever your creative minds come up with. It may feel like a burden to exercise during the holidays, but if you can make it something the entire family can enjoy; it’ll be a great way to stay mobile and active throughout the season.
TIP 6 – Must-Do Mobility
Lastly, if you are in a critical phase of rehab, it is important to stay on top of it. Sometimes, we can feel guilty taking time for ourselves when we think we should be spending it with family, but taking care of you is a way of taking care of them. Remember, you can’t pour from an empty cup! You can rest, relax, enjoy the holidays, and still find 20 minutes to keep yourself from regressing. Sit down with your physical therapist to create a battle plan for the holiday season. You will thank yourself later.
Here is an example of a mobility kit you bring with on your road trip!
HAPPY HOLIDAYS FROM EVERYONE AT INSPIRED ATHLETX!