Halloween is right around the corner with many people planning to celebrate. Whether you are carving pumpkins, handing out candy, or taking children or grandchildren trick-or-treating around the neighborhood, there are many ways to fully participate safely in Halloween celebrations. Here are 5 physical therapy tips to have a safe Halloween!
Warm-up Before You Head Out
During this time of year, leaves turn colors and fall from the trees, and temperatures cool down. This Halloween you may choose to celebrate by walking or trick-or-treating outdoors. As the temperatures become cooler, warming up before outside activity becomes more important to minimize your risk of injury. Before heading outside, try to perform a low-intensity exercise, such as dynamic stretches, for 5 to 10 min. Performing lunges with a twist, plank walkouts, squats, and high knees are just a few of the many dynamic stretches you can do before trick-or-treating this upcoming Halloween night.
- Lunges with a Twist: Perform a lunge as shown in the picture by placing one foot in front of the other and bending your front knee to a 90-degree angle with respect to the floor. Twist your arms from right to left and then push off with your front knee to return to a standing position. Repeat on the other side.
- Plank Walkouts: Start standing and slowly walk out your hands in front of you until you are in a plank position as shown in the photo. Then, reverse the action by walking your hands back to your feet and up your legs until you are fully standing.
- Squats: Perform a squat as shown in the photo by bending your knees to a seated position keeping your torso upright and then use the muscles in your legs and thighs to return to a standing position.
- High Knees: Lift up one leg up to a 90-degree angle as shown in the photo and return the leg to the floor. Repeat the same process with the other leg.
Wear Comfortable Shoes
Trick-or-treating with young children can be a long journey, so one way you can properly prepare is to wear comfortable footwear. Some evidence-based recommendations for footwear that can reduce your frequency of injury is a shoe you find comfortable which is based on the cushioning level and the amount of arch support the shoe provides, and generally a lighter shoe is better. If you are experiencing any foot pain, click here to read about how physical therapy can help.
Wear a Costume that Allows You to Move
Make sure your costume is best equipped to allow you to move freely to reduce your chance of injury. The less restrictive your costume is, the more your joints and muscles can move. Check to see that your costume doesn’t drag on the ground to prevent any chance of tripping and falling. If your costume contains a mask or eyewear, consider switching to face paint or makeup to allow for a full field of vision to prevent future falls.
Trick-or-Treat with a Backpack
Holding large items such as a bag full of candy or a pumpkin can put a strain on your back and eventually cause pain. One way to reduce the load in the front of your body is to carry items in a backpack. Furthermore, a backpack allows you to free up your hands which can improve your mobility. Click here to read about how to properly choose a backpack.
Trick-or-treating with kids can be a long night for parents and grandparents. Listen to your body and sit down and take breaks as needed. Remember to stretch to keep your muscles warm and moveable. Moreover, make sure to take water breaks throughout the night to prevent becoming dehydrated.
No matter how you plan to celebrate Halloween this year, make sure you follow these 5 physical therapy tips to have a safe and spooky night. During this night if you are finding yourself having a hard time keeping up and want to improve your fitness to do all of the things you love, click here to learn about all of the services offered by Live Your Life and contact us for a free consultation.
- Hoonan, Rose. “What’s the Best Way to Warm Up Before You Exercise?” Right as Rain by UW Medicine. 11 Jan. 2021, https://rightasrain.uwmedicine.org/body/exercise/how-to-warm-up.
- Melone, Linda. “7 Dynamic Warm-ups.” Arthritis Foundation. https://www.arthritis.org/health-wellness/healthy-living/physical-activity/other-activities/7-dynamic-warm-ups.Accessed 11 Oct. 2022.