Stress can wreak havoc on your health. It causes depression, leads to tightened muscles, harms the heart and the brain, and, yet, for many of us the stress of daily living is hard to shake off. For me, stress sits in my shoulders. It hunkers down for the long haul and sometimes even recruits my neck and lower back in its nefarious plans. Unless I stretch to get it out and relax my bunched up muscles, I can get migraines that are out of control. If you’re a stress hoarder too, check out these five stretches to help ease your tension and muscle tightness.
5 Stretches to Relieve Stress
Before you begin stretching, remember that you should never stretch to the point of pain. Stretching should not cause injury or pain. If you start to feel pain, stop and ease off on the tension a bit. We want you to feel better after stretching…not like you’re hurt. And, as always, consult your physician and make sure you’re healthy enough for physical activity before beginning any exercise program or trying any exercise or stretching routine.
Back & Shoulder Stretch
Ah, this stretch feels great after a long day of sitting at the computer or doing cardio. It helps ease the tension in the shoulders and back with its simple and slow movements. You may also know it as Cat Cow from yoga class. 😉
I love this stretch to stretch out my sides and shoulders. The key to this one is to just lean as far as is comfortable for you. If you stretch too far, you could find yourself sore!
Chin to Chest Stretch
I love this simple stretch for helping get rid of neck tension – especially after working at the computer all day.
Hip Flexor Stretch
If your job requires a lot of sitting, chances are that your hip flexors are super tight. These three stretches are quick and easy, but when done gently, they’re fantastic at helping to ease tightness in the hip flexors.
Overhead Tricep Stretch
When my children were young and I had to carry them all day every day, the overhead tricep stretch was a lifesaver. It helps release the tension in the triceps and lengthens them back out again. So you can carry your kids again tomorrow. 😉
Whatever stretches you decide to do, be sure to stop if you feel pain. Ease off on the tension you’re applying and don’t stretch quite so far. Safety first. Even when stretching!