Feeling Great: Why people aged 50+ are more prone to injuries at Christmas (and what to do about it)

The office party.
The office party.

The Christmas season is fast approaching and with it comes things like office parties and family gatherings …

Usually involving lots of alcohol, lots of food and chocolate and days sitting around on the sofa because it’s “too cold” to be outside.

Now there’s nothing wrong with that at all, I enjoy spending time with my family.

But when you’ve spent all year working hard to exercise regularly, walk and run further distances, making healthier food choices and building great habits, this time of year isn’t so great for that.

A Sunday morning run or game of football is swapped for a big night out at the work Christmas party … that usually involves a lot of alcohol, a LOT of dancing and waking up to feel very sore the next day.

While everyone else willingly drinks vast amounts, eats and lazes around over the Christmas period, are you going to keep on track so you can carry your healthy habits into the new year?

If you are, here’s a few festive thoughts on how to limit the impact a late night Christmas party can affect how you will run the next day, and impact your chances of picking up an injury.

A lot of people don’t realise how dehydrated your body can get after drinking a lot of alcohol, for example:

If your Christmas party is on a Thursday and you end up drinking a ‘little too much’ your body will still be crying out for fluids on Sunday!

So if your body is dehydrated, it makes your muscles more prone to being pulled because they’re more tight than usual.

And they’ll take even longer to repair if you pull one!

To avoid the likelihood of pulling a muscle and stopping you from keeping active through the winter, slow down on the drinking and even have a few glasses of water between each one.

Or, have a large bottle of water ready for you by your bed when you get home, so you can get plenty of water in your system for the next day.

As well as drinking a bit too much when you’re out partying until late, you’re likely to skip a warm-up the next day too.

The reason you’re more likely to skip the warm-up is because you’re feeling sore the following morning and you’re likely to wake up later than usual…

Which will mean you’ll turn up later to play a game of football, or head out later for a run…

So, you probably won’t feel like warming up beforehand.

I know exactly what it’s like, I’ve been there!

The thing is, with less fluids in your system and not having done your usual warm-up, you’re unlikely to finish the game or the run anyway.

Your hamstrings and calf muscles will have been neglected and waiting for that moment when you stretch a little too far…

And they’ll be sure to let you know that they’re not up to exercising with a “ping!” (and I’m sure you know how painful a sudden “pop!” can be!).

So that’s something to think about over the next few weeks if you’re involved in a sport or go for regular runs and find yourself at the office Christmas party until 2am.

Have fun and remember to keep drinking water throughout the night!

Otherwise I’ll be expecting a call from you Monday morning.