5 Minute Energy Boost

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Tight shoulders. Stiff neck. Headache. Aching back. It's as if your body has been put in a vise, and you're doubting that you'll get through the rest of your workday. What now? I've found that the following visualization and stretching exercises bring relief and renewed energy in only 5 minutes! Let's begin!

First close your eyes and imagine a soothing setting. One of my favorites is the beach with the distant sound of waves, the sun on my back, and the feel of the warm sand between my toes. Once you learn this, try keeping your eyes closed during the whole exercise as an escape from your surroundings and concentrate on relaxation breathing.

Sit straight in your chair and draw a deep breath: in through the nose and out through the mouth.Really let it fill your whole core. Repeat 3 times. Drop your arms to your sides and feel your body relax as the tension drains away.

Neck stretches:

Turn your head to the right. Breathe. Feel the stretch. Then turn to the left. Repeat

Keeping your shoulders down, tip you right ear to your shoulder,breathe, then repeat with the left. Now inhale and drop your head and roll it to the right. letting your breath out as you roll. Inhale again and roll back to the left. Repeat.

Face up to the ceiling, back to center, and then down to your chest. Really feel the stretch in the back of your neck.



Shoulder, Arm, and Back Stretches:

Keeping your arms relaxed at your sides, roll your shoulders back and feel the pull between your shoulder blades while opening up the chest. Repeat 5 times. Now reverse the motion with forward rolls and feel the stretch in the upper back.

Bend you arm across your body, so you elbow makes a V in front of your face. With the opposite hand placed just behind the elbow, pull the arm toward the opposite shoulder for a good spinal twist stretch. Then repeat to the other side.

Raise both arms straight up over your head and alternately reach and extend your arms/hands as if climbing a rope ladder. Really stretch your arms as well as your tight hands and fingers being careful not to over-extend beyond your comfort level. This should really feel great! Repeat 10 times.

Take a deep breath and lean forward between your legs letting all of the tension and your breath out of your body. Lean forward a bit more and allow yourself to feel a good stretch along your spine. Relax and move to your left foot, breathe and stretch. Now relax and move to your right foot, breathe and stretch

A good foot massage will knead the pressure points and relax the body.

Leg and Foot Stretches:

Extending the right leg, slowly pump the foot toward your body and back away 5 times. Repeat with the left. This really helps with leg circulation that has been hindered by prolonged sitting. It works well on long flights too!

Whle keeping the left leg extended, rotate at the ankle and circle the foot 3 times in each direction. Repeat with the right.

Take 3 more deep breaths, in through the nose and out through the mouth. Now open your eyes.

This stretching exercise should take 5 minutes giving you enough time to grab a coffee, run to the restroom, or check messages. I hope it helps to relax and re-energize you as much as it has me!

I've included these simple hand exercises which can be worked in with this routine or done throughout the day as needed for relief from joint stiffness.

Does your employer encourage stretching breaks?

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© 2012 Catherine Tally

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Comments 22 comments

Sueswan 4 years ago

Hi Cat

Thank you for sharing these stretches. I have bookmarked them as I have lot of tension in my neck.

Voted up and awesome.

Take care :)


cat on a soapbox profile image

cat on a soapbox 4 years ago from Los Angeles Author

Hi Sueswan,

Thank you for your thoughtful comments and the vote UP! I'm sorry that you have a lot of tension in your neck. I really hope that these stretches help to undo those knots. Another tip: try to avoid leaning on your elbows when at your desk. All of the best to you :)

cat


Nyamache profile image

Nyamache 4 years ago from Kenya

There are times we work and feel that we are not able to work anymore because of experiencing stiff neck and shoulders. We should always take a break to stretch our arms, legs, shoulders and back. Voted this hub useful!


cat on a soapbox profile image

cat on a soapbox 4 years ago from Los Angeles Author

Hi Nyamache,

I think that more and more companies encourage workers to takes "stretching breaks" these days which is a good thing. I am glad that you found my hub to be a useful guideline. Thank you for stopping by to read and comment! I appreciate it :)


Express10 profile image

Express10 3 years ago from East Coast

These are useful stretches whether you're working or taking a long drive/trip somewhere. Many people need to take at least six to 8 mini-breaks to do these five minute stretches for the sake of their own health. This is a useful hub.


cat on a soapbox profile image

cat on a soapbox 3 years ago from Los Angeles Author

Express10,

Thank you! I've learned that stress and muscle tension can mimic so many more serious conditions as well as increase anxiety when driving etc. I am so glad you've found them useful and hope you will share them w/ work colleagues.

my best,

Cat :)


Felipe717 profile image

Felipe717 3 years ago from Philadelphia, PA

Great advice! I used to have a timer to remind me to stretch during the day and now that I don't use it I feel the aches and soreness coming back. Time for me to go back to the timer. Your Hub reminded me how useful the timer was. Thanks!


cat on a soapbox profile image

cat on a soapbox 3 years ago from Los Angeles Author

Hello Felipe,

The timer is a great idea! Yeah, our bodies do have a way of reminding us of the tension in our muscles that comes from prolonged sitting and repetitive phone/computer work. Thank you for your endorsement of stretch breaks! I appreciate your stopping by to read and comment. :)


vocalcoach profile image

vocalcoach 3 years ago from Nashville Tn.

I just went through each of the exercises and it felt so good. I really do feel revived. Thanks for sharing this and thanks for the follow.

Voted up and sharing. ~ Audrey


Hezekiah profile image

Hezekiah 3 years ago from Japan

Thanks for the tips, voted up.


cat on a soapbox profile image

cat on a soapbox 3 years ago from Los Angeles Author

Hello Audrey,

I'm so glad you tried these exercises and came away feeling great with renewed energy! As you get into a habit of these, you will find that you'll add a few of your own. Thank you for the enthusiastic comment and the vote up. Nice to see you!

My best,

Cat :)


Mhatter99 profile image

Mhatter99 3 years ago from San Francisco

You must have worked at my oil company, where this was encouraged.


MG Singh profile image

MG Singh 3 years ago from Singapore

Good advise.


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cat on a soapbox 3 years ago from Los Angeles Author

Thank you, Hezekiah. I appreciate your stopping by, voting up, and leaving the nice comment.


QudsiaP1 profile image

QudsiaP1 3 years ago

I am definitely bookmarking this hub. I love it!


cat on a soapbox profile image

cat on a soapbox 3 years ago from Los Angeles Author

Hi Martin,

Hats off to companies which encourage employees to stretch and de-stress! It's a win-win situation. Good to see you here. Thanks for your thoughts :)


ChitrangadaSharan profile image

ChitrangadaSharan 3 years ago from New Delhi, India

These are very useful stretches, to relax stiff neck, hands or legs. Office desk work often leaves professionals with strained limbs and neck. Nowadays many corporate offices have provided a relaxation room for their professionals, with equipments and tools to revive and relax them. My children also have this facility at their workplace.

Your hub has provided some very fine tips in this regard.

Very useful and relevant hub! Thanks for sharing and voted up!


cat on a soapbox profile image

cat on a soapbox 3 years ago from Los Angeles Author

Thank you, MGSingh. I really appreciate your kind comment.


cat on a soapbox profile image

cat on a soapbox 3 years ago from Los Angeles Author

Hello QudsiaP1,

I'm so pleased that you enjoyed my tips for re-energizing at work. Thank you for reading and leaving such positive feedback.

Cat :)


cat on a soapbox profile image

cat on a soapbox 3 years ago from Los Angeles Author

Hello ChitrangadaSharan,

It is a wise investment for big business to encourage short sessions of stretching and meditation to help alleviate the muscle tension of stress and repetitive motion. I am happy to hear that this is becoming more common in the workplace. Thank you for your kind and thoughtful comments. :)


MarleneB profile image

MarleneB 3 years ago from Northern California, USA

These are wonderful exercises. I did them after reading and they really work. I especially like the one where we raise both arms up above the head.


cat on a soapbox profile image

cat on a soapbox 3 years ago from Los Angeles Author

Hi Marlene. I agree with you. The overhead "rope climb" and the spinal twist are my favorites. I'm so glad that you tried them all out and found them refreshing. Thank you for taking the time to comment too. :)

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