Muscle Tension Release, Energy Level Increase
Stretches are range-of-motion exercises that reduce stiffness and help keep your joints flexible, which can make daily activities easier. Simply put, your "range of motion" is the normal amount your joints can be moved in certain directions.
Stretching gradually expands that range, giving you greater flexibility and less pain. Regular stretching can help preserve flexibility, and keep muscles and joints healthy. Regular stretching may also reduce risk of injury, and counteract the chronic muscle tension that arises from too much stress and a sedentary lifestyle.
In addition to stretching, loosening restrictive clothing improves circulation and reduces muscle tension. Some people get into the habit of wearing restrictive clothing (e.g. dress socks) on a daily basis. Try to avoid wearing restrictive clothing when it is not required.
Try the following simple steps to reduce tension and increase energy levels.
- Legs and pelvis: Stand with legs 2 feet apart and point your feet out at a comfortable angle. Bend your knees slowly and lower your buttocks. Eventually they should be able to go as low as your knees. Move up and down ten times. (Standard body weight squats).
- Legs and pelvis: Stand with legs 2 feet apart and feet facing forward. Rock your pelvis back and forth. Repeat ten times.
- Legs and pelvis: In the same position, move your hips and pelvis from side to side. Let your torso and arms sway in the opposite direction, as if you were dancing.
- Entire body: Jump up and down in place for several minutes. Allow your arms to move freely. Shake out your wrists, and raise your arms over year head, while jumping to release tension in the shoulders and arms.
- Shoulders, neck and torso: Sit down with legs out in front. Raise your arms to shoulder level, bending at the elbow. Place your hands on your shoulders with your fingers in front and thumb in back. Turn your elbows, head and neck to the left and then to the right. Repeat ten times. Be sure to let your entire torso move with your shoulders and arms. Then move your shoulders in circles in a forward direction ten times. Repeat in circles in a backward direction ten times, allowing your torso to follow your shoulders so the movement is fluid.
- Neck and head: Still in a sitting position, flex your neck backward, so that your face looks at the ceiling, inhaling deeply and relaxing your shoulders as your raise your head. As you slowly lower your head, exhale. Repeat slowly ten times. Then turn your head from side to side (left to right), exhaling as you turn to each side, inhaling as you return to center. Repeat ten times.
- Eyes: From a sitting position, look straight ahead. Then slowly raise your eyes up and down, then side to side. Repeat ten times. Now blink your eyes twenty times to moisturize.
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