Moving to a new home is an exciting time that marks the end of one chapter in your life and the beginning of a new one. According to a survey of 2,000 adults, however, it’s also one of the most stressful events in a person’s life. If you are one of the thousands of New Yorkers who is anxious about your upcoming relocation, you might be tempted to place your health on the back burner. The good news is that you can stay fit and healthy during this otherwise stressful time by following some simple steps:
When you’re busy trying to move all of your boxes into your new home before the sun sets, you may feel compelled to pick up a fast food meal. After all, who has time to prepare and cook meals when moving? Even if your time is limited, you should still try to avoid fast food, as it’s typically loaded with calories, sodium, and saturated fat. Instead, consider preparing a nutritious meal and snacks before the day of your move or try out a prepared meal delivery service like Freshly or Daily Harvest.
A hand truck is an invaluable tool that will allow you to transport multiple boxes simultaneously, all without physically lifting them. However, if you want to condition your body and increase muscle mass, you should consider carrying boxes by hand instead. You can still use the hand truck when necessary, but carrying boxes by hand will give you a better workout.
Lifting boxes is an excellent workout that engages your core, arms, torso, and legs when performed correctly. Unfortunately, though, many people make the mistake of arching their back to lift. While this may feel easier, it places additional stress on your spine and supporting structures, increasing the risk of injury.
As explained by the American Chiropractic Association (ACA), you should lift with your legs while keeping the box close to your body. Local New York City moving company Imperial Movers (83 Washington Place, New York, NY 10011, (212) 879-6683) also cautions against lifting items that are too heavy. For oversized boxes and bulky appliances, they suggest using hand straps to lift items onto a dolly or hand truck. Alternatively, you may call professionals to get a quote on moving items that are dangerously heavy to lift.
You can go one step further with your moving day workout by performing modified “box squats.” While holding a small-to-medium-sized box, bend your knees until your upper legs are about parallel to the floor, at which point you should extend your knees back into the standing position.
Squats such as this target a variety of muscles, including the quadriceps, calves, hamstrings, glutes and more. Just remember to keep your spine straight throughout the process. You’ll have to tilt your spine so its angled, but you shouldn’t create an unnatural arch when performing box squats.
Finally, drink water while you move to ensure you are properly hydrated. Some people assume that soda and other sugar-sweetened beverages are okay, but sugary beverages such as these will only slow you down. Granted, they’ll provide an immediate boost of energy, but with a fatigued sugar crash soon to follow. If you want to stay fit when moving, skip the soda and stick with water as your beverage of choice.