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The day after Thanksgiving is a milestone of sorts in America. It reminds us of just how quickly the year has gone by— and how close we are to the holiday season. This realization— coupled with the fabulous sales at major department stores and malls everywhere— helps make the day after Thanksgiving our biggest shopping day of the year. And until we flip the calendar over to a new year, the chaos just doesn't let up.
"Our bodies have the capacity to do a little more than we normally do," says Dr. Scott Bautch, past president of the American Chiropractic Association's (ACA) Council on Occupational Health. "But our bodies do not adapt very well to doing a lot more than we normally do. Since the added demands of this season can stress the capacity of our bodies, we need to do everything we can to help ourselves. Eat right, drink plenty of water, stretch, exercise and take a few minutes to slow down and reflect on what the season is all about."
So relax and enjoy the holidays! Dr. Bautch and the ACA encourage you to consider the following tips to help keep you and your loved ones healthy, happy and safe this season.
"During the holiday season, we're running at absolute maximum capacity, which can lead to stress and even depression," says Dr. Bautch. "Why do so many people become depressed around the holidays? We need to stretch and stay hydrated to increase our capacity, so we are not overwhelmed by the activities of the season."
"We actually need to eat better than normal during the holiday season," explains Dr. Bautch. "On average, people gain five to six pounds during the holidays. And heart attacks occur more often during the holidays as well. Eating a heavy meal and then running out on an exhausting shopping trip can be very dangerous."
"Shopping with children is just a bad idea," says Dr. Bautch. "If your hands are loaded with shopping bags, you may not be able to hold your child's hand, which could increase the chances he or she might wander away from you. Take whatever steps necessary to not have to bring your child along."
"When wrapping presents, it's a good idea to 'stretch the opposites,'" says Dr. Bautch. "In other words, if you are leaning forward when wrapping your gifts, stretch backward when you are done."
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