Happy Thanksgiving! There’s a lot to be thankful for this past year. Personally I am very thankful for all the friends I’ve made during my first year as a full time resident of the northwoods. I greatly appreciate all the advice I’ve been given along the way and how willing everyone is to help one another. We had some beautiful hot summer weather followed up by a very mild and decently long fall. Heck, the trick or treaters may have had to wear some layers or a jacket but at least they weren’t trekking through the snow. Even though the first day of winter isn’t technically until December 21st we are approaching that winter weather. I’m going to share some tips for getting through Thanksgiving without back discomfort but some of these ideas can apply to shoveling snow too which is on its way.
The first tip is regarding heavy lifting. On Thanksgiving, we’re bound to have something heavy to lift whether that be a suitcase or duffle bag of a visiting family member or being the one to take the turkey out of the oven. One of the biggest recommendations when lifting is to keep your back straight and bend at the knees to have the power of the lift to actually come from our legs and not our back. This can more easily be applied to suitcases and even shoveling heavy snow. The hot oven door in the case of getting the turkey into and out of the oven is a little more complicated. I recommend pulling the shelf out of the oven a bit and then actually having two people lift the turkey- one person on each side. You’ll need to coordinate with someone else to not spill the juices, but you’ll be less likely to overextend your back and hurt yourself.
The next tip is for prolonged standing. Standing for long periods of time seems inevitable while prepping for Thanksgiving. There can be a lot of veggie/ potato peeling and chopping involved. Maybe some apple and pumpkin pie baking. This can lead to fatigue of the low back and leg muscles leading to discomfort and pain. It’s good to break up your prep time with some standing and then some sitting or even some walking. Take a quick walk around the house to get everything moving again. This applies to shoveling as well. It’s best not to keep powering through. Take a few breaks, sit down and relax, have some water and then continue on your way.
The next one is one of my favorites. If Thanksgiving is a decent size get together, get everyone to help out so it’s not just one person prepping, cooking, and doing dishes. My back is aching just thinking of that. You eat? You help. Sharing the workload of a big spread at Thanksgiving saves one person’s muscles and back from fatigue, strain, and pain. It really is a pain to be bent over prepping all the food and then scrubbing all the pots and pans. Working together makes the holiday way more enjoyable for everyone.
My last advice is to find a way to be a little active after dinner. Whether that be a nice walk down the street, or your favorite trail. Or you can always do the Turkey Pokey- the grandkids will love this one. Instead of putting your right arm in and out, put your right wing in and out. Instead of shaking it all about, gobble it all about. “Put your right wing in, take your right wing out. Put your right wing in and gobble all about. You do the Turkey Pokey and you turn yourself around. That’s what it’s all about!” Move on to your left wing, drumsticks, tail feathers, and beak.
Happy Thanksgiving! Hope you have a great day. Gobble gobble.
Dr. Doug and Jeanette love teaching people about health and wellness. If we haven't covered a topic that you're interested in, feel free to leave a comment and we'd be happy to give you our thoughts!