In this day and age, there are so many factors that can contribute to tension which eventually leads to stress if not checked on time. This can range from work pressure, finances, relationships and many more. When all these crop up, there are few simple stretch exercises you can do to help you release.
Before going to stretches, the first most important exercise that is the cornerstone of many other relaxation techniques is deep breathing.
Ideal breathing technique is to learn to breathe deeply from your abdomen getting oxygen into your lungs. The more you breathe in deeply and get more oxygen, the less tense, short of breath and anxious you feel. Your body therefore will feel more relaxed.
You don’t have to have a specified place to practice this. Breathing exercise can be done almost anywhere and can also be combined with other relaxation exercises like yoga, massage while listening to cool, soft music.
The type of stretches to consider are
Mat spinal twist
This exercise requires you to lie on the ground or on a mat with your legs extended. You then bring one knee across your body as you turn your head to the opposite side looking over the outstretched arm.
Now hold this pose for few seconds then slowly work on lowering the other knee/ opposing knee to the ground. Do the same for the other side. This stretch not only relaxes your spine, it also stretches your back both lower and upper, your upper shoulder and even butt.
Legs (quads and hamstring) stretch
This type of stretch requires you to stand tall with your hips in line. Grab one leg and pull the heel to your butt with your knee in line with the other standing supporting leg then change. Make sure you feel the stretch as you hold.
You also need to focus on a spot in front of you for balance. You can either hold a wall, bench or a chair. To feel the stretch more, you need to push your toes towards the ground.
Sit and reach
Sit on a mat with both legs extended out. Bend slowly from the abdomen with your arm moving towards the tips of your toes. Once you reach a point where you feel some muscular tension, hold on there for few seconds then release to relax.
You can repeat this severally. This stretches is good for your back, shoulders, legs and neck.
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