With Santa’s big night past us, he was seen jumping, running and lifting heavy presents all around Grandville and Jenison. However, getting to all the houses in time was a huge undertaking, and may have lead to aching back, sore muscles and stiff legs.

For an idea on how Santa avoided aches and pains, you can connect you with an Athletico Physical Therapist to discuss a few simple tips and stretches used to keep his body strong and pain-free this holiday season.

Pre-delivery stretches: Before Santa goes to work on Christmas Eve, he will want to stretch his legs and hamstrings. By walking forward and reaching towards his toes with his opposite hand Santa will fully stretch his leg muscles for the evening ahead. He can also bring his heal towards his buttocks for an additional stretch.

Keep balance across snow & ice: Santa should wear gym shoes for added support, and the rubber soles will give him added grip across slippery surfaces.

Practice shimmying down the chimney: Santa will need to be very agile to move down chimneys of all shapes and sizes. To prepare for this he should do the skater exercise. Start in a small squat and then jump sideways to the left, landing on one’s left leg. Then he should bring his right leg behind to your left ankle, and don’t let it touch the floor. Reverse direction by jumping to the right with his right leg.

Use one’s knees to bend: When lifting any heavy presents, the body parts most prone to injury are the lower and mid back as well as one’s hips and shoulders. Therefore, when Santa is carrying a heavier gift, he should be sure to squat down or lunge to pick it up. Never bend straight from the back and lifting with blunt force.

Practice using the reigns: Before Santa will have to direct the reindeer, he should practice controlling the reigns to build up his arm strength. Hold a larger rope at arm’s length in front of one’s hips with your hands shoulder-width apart. Next, Santa should brace his core and begin alternately raising and lowering each arm. By alternating arms for 1 to 20 minutes, Santa will begin to feel a burn in his arms and shoulders, which will help him prepare for a full night.

I look forward to hearing if you’d be interested in speaking with a physical therapist from Athletico to demonstrate the stretches.