5 Minute Energy Boost
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.
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?
© 2012 Catherine Tally