Stretching routines are often associated with working out at the gym.
Most of us understand the importance of loosening up before hitting the weights, running on the treadmill, or playing some basketball with your buddies.
But have you ever considered using this relaxing technique to relieve stress?
That’s right, stretching can be a very effective way to get that tension out of your body which naturally occurs throughout the day.
It’s fast and easy and can be done pretty much anywhere!
So when your having a bad day, stuck behind your desk for hours and hours trying to finish a project, think about taking a break to stretch out some of that stress building up inside of you..
Untying The Knots
We can’t totally get rid of stress from our lives.
It would be nice if we could, but since this is a natural function of our bodies which assists us in handling crisis and other difficult situations, we just need to learn how to handle and modify its power.
Life throws so much at us making it necessary to seek ways for unwinding and coming down periodically.
Otherwise, a constant state of “fight or flight” mentality, triggered by stress and causing our bodies to tense up, can lead to a bunch of health problems such as panick attacks.
Picture yourself walking down a dark alley at night, all by yourself. Do you notice how your body seems to tighten up in preparation to handle any unforeseen threats?
The same thing happens when you sit at your computer for long periods of time.
You start to hunch forward and bring your shoulders up high around your ears, and this can precipitate various types of pain in the neck, back, or shoulder region.
Additionally, in an area where tension is confined as in the above example, knots start to form limiting blood flow to key parts of our bodies.
Ah, so not only is stretching a great way to relax the body and mind, it can also improve cardiovascular and heart health as well!
There are several stretching exercises you can do to relax your shoulder and neck muscles.
If you work in an office or sit at your computer for many hours, these should be done at regular intervals throughout the day.
Sharon Hame, MD, and an associate clinical professor at UCLA’s department of orthopaedic surgery says “People who sit at their computers for hours every day…they’re in for serious medical problems.”
To alleviate this problem, set a timer near your desk to remind you every 30 or 45 minutes that you need to take a time out and stretch a bit.
Move those shoulders around, swivel your neck from side to side, and stretch those finger muscles as wide as they will go followed by a tight fist. Twist your upper torso to free up those tense areas.
Some of you may have jobs that area more physically damanding where you are required to lift, move, or pull heavy items around.
In this case you’ll want to do stretches that involve muscles throughout your whole body including the legs, back and shoulders.
Touch your toes and then reach upward towards the sky, warm up those hamstrings and loosen up your joints…
There’s really a lot you can do without getting too complicated if you think about it:)
Another option can be to perform longer stretching routines in the morning and/or evening after work.
You can easily find dvd’s online or in stores which you can then follow along with for added support.
To Sum It Up
I know it takes a certain amount of will power to try something new in your life such as stretching exercises.
They might feel uncomfortable, or even awkward at first, but this will go away as time progresses.
The benefits far outweigh the effort, believe me, as you will begin to feel better all over and more serene with practice.
In my opinion, it’s always in your best interest to nip a potential problem in the bud before it turns into something serious down the road, and stretching regularly can achieve this!