This article originally appeared in the December 2016 issue of Generations Magazine.
Even for the fittest of grandparents, taking care of grandkids can really take a toll on your body. The most common areas of injury are the neck, shoulders, back and knees.
Here are tips to prevent those aches and pains.
If you are inactive, wrestling on the floor or walking around the zoo can have a real impact on your body. Regular exercise is important, but any type of physical activity will make it easier to keep up with your grandkids. Maintain an active lifestyle to keep those muscles strong and joints lubricated. If you don’t use it, you’ll lose it.
Repetitive movement can cause serious damage if you are not used to the activity. To avoid a rotator cuff tear when repeatedly throwing a ball or pushing a swing, you must know when to stop. Listen to your body, stop when you get tired and steer the kids to a break or a different activity.
Use good body mechanics when bending to pick up a child. Widen your stance and base of support to maintain balance, bend at your knees rather than hinging at the hips, hold the child close to your body, keep your shoulders back and avoid slouching.
Keep fit and take precautions to ensure that you stay healthy as you enjoy your grandchildren.