Column 12 - Shopping and Your Back

Original publication date: November 23, 1983

On your mark, get set, GO!!! Quickly scan the walls, find the toy section, and race down the aisles. You're going to get that last Cabbage Patch doll if it's going to kill you. Sold out. Run back to your car and drive furiously to the next store.

By the time you've shopped four or five stores with no luck you'll be ready to kill for the doll or whatever it is you're having difficulty finding. Christmas shopping in full swing. Lots of walking. Lots of stooping and bending. Lots of tension driving in parking lots overfull with customers rushing every which way. All the things that make Christmas shopping so enjoyable.

I usually wait until the last week to shop but this year I thought I'd try it differently. I went to Waterloo Square on a Monday and was shocked to find the parking lot full and throngs of people in the mall. I watched people with utter amazement. While wearing heavy winter coats and boots people were carrying parcel upon parcel and still trudging on.

No wonder many find Christmas shopping a chore. Who wants to be laden down like a mule while people push and shove? We're always thinking "I wonder what so and so really wants" that we forget about ourselves and what rushing around can do to us. If you do find Christmas shopping a chore, you should take the time to arrange and organize yourself and try to shop at a relaxed pace. You should consider what the walking, rushing and tension can do to you.

We should consider our back and how to eliminate a sore back during and after our shopping.

Our backs can become very stiff particularily if we don't stop to rest at some point during the shopping. If you normally walk with an upright back with shoulders well-squared and back, you may find the middle part of your back to be stiff when you finally do sit down. You may have compensated for your tiredness by over-straightening your back.

If this happens sit down and rest. Round out your back by dropping your chin to your chest and curling your shoulders forward. You'll get a better stretch if you extend your arms out in front. If you feel too conspicuous doing this, you can lean over your lap as you are sitting and pretend to do your shoe up or something. This will curl your back and stretch it.

If you normally have a poor posture, such as walking with your shoulders forward and your neck scrunched down you may discover a stiffness in the upper back and neck area. Stick your chest out and push you shoulders back by stretching your arms up behind your head. (You should be reminding yourself to walk with your shoulders back and head up at all times if you have a posture problem.) You shouldn't feel silly doing these stretches as anyone who sees you will know exactly what you're doing anyway.

Remember to stop and give your feet and legs a good stretch as well. As you're sitting, point your toes and flex your feet. (Jut your heel out and curl your toes toward your body.) Do a few ankle circles, especially if you choose to shop in high heels.

Now back to shopping. Where were those dolls on sale?.........

Copyright 2021 K.L. McCluskey, all rights reserved.