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Avoid injuries this Christmas

Published: 16 July 2019 - Injury Treatment and Prevention

Image of people on the beach

It's the festive season! Here are some things to keep in mind to help you survive injury-free and in one piece.

Take care playing backyard games

As you wheel around the bins for Australia’s favourite summer past time, keep in mind that backyard cricket can lead to some not-so-fun injuries.

To avoid an emergency time-out, try to avoid over extending on catches that you can’t take and think twice on whether diving for the ball will be a good idea. Instead of jumping the fence when Uncle Matt hits an out, try knocking on the neighbour’s door with an eggnog offering – your knees and feet will thank you! 

Also, don’t try to impress Nan by fielding at short leg then getting hit in the face by a tennis ball or bat when your skills aren’t up to scratch!

Increasing your activity too soon can lead to injuries

Many of us start crawling out of exercise hibernation when the sun starts to shine and we have more time up our sleeves with the holiday break.

You can lose up to 30 per cent of your muscle strength after just two weeks of being inactive, so it is important to get back into exercise gradually so you avoid injuries.

Start off with a 30-minute bike ride even though you were riding one hour two months ago. Squat with 10kg weights before climbing back to the 30kg personal best you were achieving.

Exercising too hard can be detrimental as well. Studies have found that people who exercise an hour every day (over three times the recommended Australian guidelines) have a higher risk of heart disease later in life, possibly from the high demand on the heart.

Don’t over-exert and remember, everything in moderation!

Move more - sit less

Tis' the season to relax from work and mingle with the friends and family, so it can be easy to find yourself perched on a chair for hours on end.

Try to change up your position and not sit for too long this holiday season. It’s recommended to get up for a couple of minutes after sitting for 20-30 minutes. Remember that the drive to and from parties, sitting and watching the cricket and then sitting at the table feasting all adds to the time spent in one spot!

Working out if you have been drinking alcohol

Whether it be at the work Christmas party or a festive glass at dinner, the holidays often see us consuming more alcohol that we normally would.

Apart from the obvious balance effects from alcohol (ladies, think twice about wearing those gorgeous high heels!), alcohol can have a negative influence on your exercise. Drinking the day before exercising can cause dehydration and a lower quality of performance in your physical activity.

The lack in strength and power, ability to focus, and inability to make split second decisions all create a high risk of injury scenario.

Additionally, don't drink after you injure yourself. Alcohol is a diuretic and will cause an injury to excessively bleed and swell, slowing down the recovery process.

Choose gifts that encourage activity

While running around buying Christmas presents for everyone, try to steer away from gifts that will lead to more a sedentary lifestyle - especially for the kid.

Buy presents that will encourage physical activity like a soccer ball or roller skates. This will ultimately lead to healthier lifestyle choices in the long run. And instead of an indoor movie session, dust off the bikes and go for a family ride. Choose the more active option if it’s available this holiday period!

Need support? Contact your local Motion Health practice to book your free initial assessment!