What to do with stress? 7 stretching exercises for calmness and productivity
We try to keep up with the times and do everything that the modern world requires of us. But in the end we experience tension. How to return vital energy? One way is to regularly take time to relax, such as stretching.
Stretch out for health
Here are just a few words about the benefits of stretching. It improves coordination and balance, strength and flexibility. With its help, bones become stronger, and breathing is normalized. Most importantly, stretching helps you feel your body and recognize its signals and symptoms before they become a problem. When the body is relaxed, the mind also stops tense. The main task of this method is to form a connection with your own body, to hear what it says about itself.
Stretching your muscles is best when they are warmed up, experts say in Better Every Day. So do a short warm-up before class, jump or march in place. Perform each stretching exercise smoothly, without sudden movements or excessive effort. When you feel mild discomfort, release the stretch and stay in this position for a few breaths, and then try to stretch harder.
Stretching can be done with children. – A source
7 exercises for easy stretching
Try a few simple exercises from the novelty “Diseases are canceled” (if you want to do the full set – look in the book).
1. Exercises for the neck
1. As you exhale, slowly lower your chin to your chest.
2. Now inhale and slowly raise your head to the starting position. Exhale and relax.
3. Now, again on the exhale, slowly lower your head to the right – reach with your ear to your shoulder (try not to raise your shoulder to your ear).
4. Inhale and slowly lift your head back. Exhale and relax.
5. Do the same, but to the left.
Effect: exercise relieves tension and stiffness in the neck and shoulders, calms the nervous system. It can be done at any time!
2. Shoulder rotation
1. Slowly while inhaling, pull your shoulders forward and then lift them towards your ears.
2. As you exhale, gently pull them back and down. Do this two or three times.
3. Now (while inhaling) make two or three circles with the shoulders in the opposite direction.
4. Shake your hands, exhale and relax.
Effect: Exercise relieves tension in the shoulders, develops shoulder flexibility and increases the range of motion of the shoulders. It also helps to maintain good posture.
3. Stretching the wrist
1. Extend your arms in front of you so that your elbows are slightly bent. There should be no tension in the upper back and shoulders: this can only be achieved if the hands are located on either side of the body below shoulder level.
2. As you exhale, bend your wrists so that your fingers point to the floor.
3. While inhaling, change the position so that your fingers are pointing at the ceiling.
4. Do this movement several times, continuing to breathe slowly and steadily.
Effect: you stretch your wrist joints, thereby increasing their flexibility. Plus, because you increase circulation, exercise can help relieve joint pain.
It’s very simple. – A source
4. Ankle stretch
1. Extend your legs so that your heels are on the floor.
2. Without lifting your legs off the floor, rotate your feet, each time increasing the circle until it is uncomfortable.
3. Then rotate your feet in the opposite direction.
Effect: stretching the ankle helps to stretch the joints of the foot. These exercises relieve joint stiffness and allow synovial fluid to enter the joint, thereby improving the ability to maintain balance and mobility in an upright position.
5. Stretching toes
1. Spread your toes apart and then squeeze them.
2. Shake your legs, exhale and relax.
Effect: exercise helps to stretch the joints of the toes. Acts the same as an ankle stretch.
6. Snake pose
Sitting on a chair:
1. Grasp the edges of the seat with both hands.
2. As you exhale, gently round your spine and slowly lower your chin towards your chest.
3. As you inhale, lift your nose, chin, and chest toward the ceiling. Exhale calmly and, pulling your shoulders back and down (without tension), open your chest wide.
4. Do this movement two or three times, while breathing evenly and naturally.
5. When done, exhale and relax.
On the floor:
1. Lie on your stomach on the floor, pull your legs back and connect.
2. Place your palms on the floor at chest level, press your elbows firmly to your torso.
3. As you inhale, slowly stretch your head and shoulders forward and upward, feel the chest expand. Make sure that the movement of the upper body above the line of the heart goes smoothly and you seem to slide up, rather than pushing yourself out with the force of your hands.
4. Breathe freely, deeply and steadily, holding your breath slightly at the moment when you are at the top point, but only if you do not experience discomfort. As you exhale, slowly lower yourself to the floor and relax.
Effect: the pose helps tone the muscles of the upper back, is good for posture, opens the chest and lungs, makes the spine more flexible and stimulates the cranial nerves. It also helps relieve back pain and tension in the shoulders and neck. If you do the snake pose on the floor, then, in addition, you stretch the abdominal muscles, tone the abdominal muscles and improve blood circulation to the reproductive organs.
7. Stretching in the “fold”
Sitting on a chair:
1. As you exhale, place your hands on your hips and slide your hands smoothly, leading your upper body forward, starting from the hip joint. Once you find a comfortable position for yourself, linger in it for a few minutes and breathe deeply.
2. You can put your hands and forehead on your hips or slide down your legs.
3. Hang your head forward, the spine should remain flexible and not blocked.
4. While inhaling, gently rise and sit, leaving the body relaxed. Exhale and relax.
Effect: “Fold” is needed to develop flexibility in the shoulder joint, stretch the hamstrings and hips. It also relieves tension in the muscles of the back and neck and improves the functioning of the excretory system.
How to improve productivity?
Stretching (or other physical activity) is beneficial during your workday. In the book “HBR Guide. Life Balance ”has links to studies that show that mental ability is directly related to fitness. Exercise improves mood and therefore seriously affects performance.
Take breaks from work and devote a few minutes to stretching. – A source
For example, Leeds City University studied the effects of daytime workouts on office workers. More than 200 employees from various companies reported daily on their performance. The researchers then compared the performance of individual employees on days when they were physically active versus days when they were not. The results were surprising: after going to the gym, people reported better time management, increased productivity, and very close interactions with colleagues. And at the end of the day, they returned home feeling more satisfied.
Based on materials from the books “Diseases are canceled”, “HBR Guide. Life balance “,” Better every day “
Post cover – pexels.com