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The madness of December is upon us; schedules are quickly filling up with Christmas events, end of year events for work and school, December birthdays, holiday plans and somehow still trying to get everything else done too. Often people find themselves burning the candle at both ends this time of year, in medical terms, we call this ‘allostatic load’.
Prolonged Allostatic load, caused by things like the busyness of the Christmas season (which seems to be from November now!) will impair the body’s ability to remain balanced. You will experience Allostatic load as fatigue, widespread pain, poor concentration and disturbed sleep.
In December things that contribute to allostatic load include:
· Less time to exercise: a busier schedule and a few more hangovers don’t make it easy to stick to routine.
· Less sleep: more late nights thanks to events every week, starts to add up.
· Busier schedule: end of year events from work, schools, secret Santas, Christmas shopping
· More rich food and alcohol: while delicious, these do work against you to increase the inflammation your body has to deal with.
· Stress of Christmas planning: sorting out travel plans, hosting or trying to fit in 4 different Christmas day events in
· Plus, if you’ve recently been sick, more stressed or in pain this can contribute too
While we can’t change the silly season, plus it really is fun, there are a few things you can do to help your body. That way you can hopefully have all of the fun and not get worn out before the big day!
1. Keep up regular but reduced intensity of exercise; You may not be able to fit in your normal gym session but maybe you could do a 20-minute walk.
2. Drink more Water; We don’t expect you say no to all the delicious food and drink on offer at Christmas events, but focus on drinking more water, you won’t be as hungry or as hung over!
3. Quality Sleep; Lunch time Christmas drinks affect your sleep less than night time Christmas drinks, the sun is up early so pull down the blinds or get a sleep mask, morning exercise improves sleep and helps hang over recovery, have a nap in the middle of the day to catch up!
What is interesting about allostatic load, is it can increase your susceptibility to illness and injury. So try to keep some life balance during the silly season but if the aches and pains are amplified, remember Active Solutions Physiotherapy only closes for the public holidays.
Click on the links below to book online for a physiotherapy assessment and treatment or give us a call on 0438 648 884.