Stand Up To Stress! 🤺
A little exercise and stretching goes a long way!
We get it – we really do. You’re stuck at home, watching an endless loop of doom and gloom on the news, your kids are not happy to have you as their school teacher, and your spouse’s normally lively conversation has been replaced by grunts and groans.
Stress is the body’s physical reaction to threat – whether that threat be a snide remark from a loved one – or the very real threat of death from an invisible invader. Our hearts race, our heads swim, we can’t sleep, and we’re tired ALL the time. Allowed to continue, stress can eventually lead to cardiac issues such as heart attack and stroke, as well as depression, anxiety, gastrointestinal problems and eating disorders.
So, what’s a cooped-up body to do? Get up and get moving! Just 20 minutes of exercise each day has been proven to relieve stress, calm the mind and lower stress hormones:
- Breathing – Keeping your mouth closed, draw breaths in deeply through the nose, and breathe out through the nose the same way. Repeat six to ten times with eyes closed, focusing on nothing but the breathing.
- Shoulder stretch – Being in a seated position all day can draw the arms and shoulders inward, leading to back pain. So, stretch those muscles! Stand up, knees slightly bent, and either grasp a towel or interlock your fingers behind you. Raise your arms behind you as far as you can, squeezing your shoulders together, and hold for 20 seconds. Repeat three times. Watch Dr. Susanne McIntosh’s quick video to learn more ways to stretch those shoulders!
- Go for a Walk – With or without your favorite soundtrack – walking is an excellent, low-impact way to clear your head and relieve stress. Once or twice around the block – when it’s not too hot outside – ought to go a long way to making you feel better!
- Yoga – the simple child’s pose gently stretches the spine and relives pressure on the head and neck. Start on your hands and knees, then sit back on your heels. Walk your hands forward as far as you can, feeling the stretch on your spine. Exhale and rest your forehead on the floor, holding for a minute, while continuing to breathe deeply. Slowly walk your hands back toward you until you are upright again on your heels.
Just taking a few moments each day to bend, stretch, and walk ought to have you feeling a lot more amiable toward your loved ones. And if you’re looking for some more in-depth help, Allied Physical Therapy is open, sanitized, and ready to get you back to what you love! (And it will get you out of the house for an hour or so!)