Do you ever notice that your muscles feel tight and tense at the end of a stressful day?
I’ve got some easy stretches for you that you can do ANYWHERE, even at your desk at work, because they won’t draw a lot of attention … and they will help you feel better FAST.
Being stressed can cause our bodies to get into all kinds of vicious cycles, whether it’s building unhealthy eating patterns, messing up our sleep … or even causing problems with how we breathe and move!
That’s because when you’re stressed, your muscles tense up – especially those in your upper body, like your jaw, shoulders, and upper back!
When those muscles get tight, it can affect our breathing where we end up taking shallow breaths, meaning you’re getting less oxygen in your body.
Plus... shallow breathing can actually trigger you to feel even MORE anxious, and over time can actually lower your immune system!
But it’s equally as important for your stress levels to stretch specific muscles, so you feel less tense and more relaxed. This can make such a huge difference in your life!
This first stretch couldn’t be any easier and always feels great. You can do this sitting or standing.
Take a big breath in as you reach your arms out to your sides and up and over your head. Lace your fingers at the top and stretch your arms up to the ceiling. Try leaning side to side without moving your hips.
You will feel this through your arms, shoulders, upper back and even your abs. It feels amazing! Take a few slow, deep breaths and feel your body start to lengthen.
This next stretch requires some attention to detail, but it’s a really important one since nearly all of us are tight through our neck and jaw muscles, and we don’t even know it.
First, you want to sit or stand tall, and make sure your abs are braced by tightening up those core muscles. Keep your shoulders and body still as you drop your left ear toward your left shoulder. You should feel a stretch down the right side of your neck.
It might even feel a little locked up!
But wait! You’re not done yet! From this position turn your head up gently so you are looking up toward the ceiling with your chin turning up to the right. This stretch can make you want to hold your breath, but please try to relax and keep breathing! Hold for about 20-30 seconds.
From here, you want to release the stretch by turning your head back toward the left, so you eye gaze goes to your left shoulder.
Then, come back to your starting position and repeat on the other side. Make sure not to put yourself in any uncomfortable positions- this stretch should feel really good.
THE SEATED TWIST:
The third stretch is another one we don’t do enough and always feels so good! You want to make sure you’re sitting in a chair that lets you put your feet firmly on the ground.
The first thing you want to do is sit up nice and tall – pretend you’re 2 inches taller than you actually are. Take a big breath in and as you exhale, turn so your body is facing to the right.
You want to make sure your hips don’t shift in the chair as you do this!
At first your body might tense up, but just tell it to relax and breathe normally in this position. After about 20-30 seconds, come back to the center, readjust, and repeat on the other side, so you are facing to the left.
You can use your upper body to help you with this one, to either hold the stretch or take it a little deeper.
By just doing those three easy stretches you should feel a difference in your body already!
Try to do them a couple times a day. They’ll give you an easy little de-stress break!
Moving your body the right way can go a long way toward feeling less stress and more mobile. It’s pretty incredible how fast the body responds!
If you need some help in this department, join the SimplyFit Club today for more stretches and workouts with complete instructions and demo videos, free copy of my new eBook UNPLUG, with lots of stress reduction tips like this and more!