Preparing for company arrival, standing up to cook for long periods of time, and lifting heavy objects, like a turkey, can wreak havoc on your back. Here are a few tips to keep back pain from putting a damper on your Thanksgiving festivities.
- Sit down when chopping and slicing (provided you have proper lumbar support). If you have a lot of slicing and dicing to do, sit at a table to peel those potatoes or chop those carrots.
- Raise your cutting board. From chopping onions to cubing potatoes to carving the turkey, you’ll no doubt be using your cutting board more than usual this day. However, bending over a cutting board for hours can put strain on your lower back. If sitting while chopping isn’t an option, consider raising your cutting board so that you are not bending over. In addition, open a bottom cabinet door and place one foot on the shelf to alleviate some of the pressure on your back.
- Purchase a kitchen anti-fatigue mat. While they may be more expensive than a simple kitchen throw rug, anti-fatigue mats are worth their price, particularly if you need to stand in the same spot for long periods of time or if you have a bad back. Anti-fatigue mats are an ergonomic cooking option that has a shock-absorbing inner gel core to let you cook in comfort.
- Wear shoes with good support. Be sure to wear comfortable shoes that have a good arch and heel support. This will help to keep your body in good posture as you meander through your Thanksgiving preparation tasks.
- Use lightweight cooking and serving items. Some pots, pans, and serving dishes seem heavier than the turkey itself. If you have lightweight cooking item options, now is the time to use them.
- Use a proper technique when lifting the turkey. Hold the turkey roaster close to you when lifting and bend at the knees. Avoid turning and twisting when lifting the bird.
- Watch your posture. Especially when fatigued, your posture can suffer. Therefore, pay close attention to your posture. Try not to lean forward when working and stand with a wide stance.
- Let someone else do the cleanup. Last, but not least, if you’ve spent all day slaving in the kitchen, recruit someone else to clean up the leftovers and dishes, while you get off your feet and relax. But if you must put the dishes in the dishwasher, resist the temptation to bending forward at the lower back. Instead, bend with your knees, or kneel and have a guest hand you the dirty dishes.
If you make your way through Thanksgiving with a pain-free back, you are well on your well to enjoying the festivities of December with a healthy back!
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