5 Tips to Cook Your Holiday Dinner- And AVOID Back Pain
Well, the countdown to holiday festivities is officially on! And for some of you, that may mean preparing a large festive meal for friends and family! Aside from undercooking the Turkey, what could go wrong?
This time of year, it becomes very common for me to see many patients in the clinic who are feeling sore and stiff from spending hours in the kitchen preparing their meals. While food doesn't cook itself just yet, here are a couple of tips to ease the burden on your back!
1. Wear your Runners!
When working in the kitchen, especially if standing on tile or hardwood for long periods, look to wear good footwear, like running shoes or athletic shoes that have good support. This will keep your feet happy, and your back from getting upset with you.
2. Cook/Prep What You Can in Advance!
Select a few items that you can either prepare a few days in advance and store in the fridge or freezer. Things like appetizers and desserts are excellent options to prepare in advance. You could also look to do your mise en place (fancy French word for cooking prep work) a day or two ahead and store in the fridge (depending on the ingredient), so all the fiddly chopping and dicing is done in advance. This way, when it comes to 'the big day', all that's left to do is put it all together!
3. Phone a Friend!
Cooking is always more fun when done with someone else, so recruit a friend or family member to help you prepare the meal. This way, the load is split between you and your back!
4. Take Breaks, and Stay Hydrated!
Yes, there can be a lot to do. And yes, it can be hard to find time for a glass of water as you tend to the Turkey and sip on your Egg Nog, but staying hydrated with water is always a good way to ensure your back stays in tip-top shape!
If you have no choice but to do the bulk of the work all at once, while you are busy working at the counter, whether it be chopping vegetables or cutting out cookies, gently lean on to the edge of the countertop with the front of your hips. This can allow your spinal muscles to have a bit of a break!