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Feeling Stressed? Time to Stretch!

 

Woman stretching to relieve stress and pain

Just getting through the week in one piece is considered an accomplishment these days. Many new pressures are bearing down on us and causing all sorts of stress. Even if you don't have the time or ability to get out and exercise, just simple stretching can help ease some of the pressure.

It's very easy to go through life without reaching your stretching potential. A workday can involve eight hours sitting at a desk,  sitting in front of the TV, and etc. Even after a vigorous workout, you might not have the time for proper cool down. So it's no wonder many of us are complaining about joint pain and stiffness.

Stressed out pug

But you can do it!

Side stretch lunge

1. Side Stretch Lunge-Keep your upper body straight and legs apart. Then shift your weight in a slow "lunge" to the side over a bent knee (not forward, as in a typical lunge). You should feel a stretch along the inner thigh of the opposite leg, which should be straight as you push your weight to the bent-knee side. Try to hold it for 20 to 30 seconds on each side.

Standing Hip flexor stretch

2. Standing Hip Flexor- Your hip flexors -- muscles that help you lift your knees and bend your waist -- can get tight if you're a runner or you sit for long periods. Drop one leg back, keeping it straight or slightly bent. Try to keep your torso upright and your spine straight. Drop your tailbone down toward the floor and tuck your butt forward until you feel the stretch on the inside thigh of your rear leg. Hold for 20 to 30 seconds and then switch legs.  If you have sciatica pain you might need more support for this one. The EverRelief SI Belt can help stabilize your hips while you stretch.

EverRelief Sacroiliac Support Belt

3. Sideways Neck Stretch-Stand with your feet hip-width apart. Tighten your belly and pull your shoulders back. With your head slightly forward, slowly tilt your ear toward the shoulder on the same side until you feel a stretch. Hold it for about 10 seconds, and slowly bring your head back up and do the other side. You can increase the stretch by using the hand on the tilting side to gently pull your head down. If you've had a herniated disc this stretch might be painful.  An EverRelief Neck Traction Device to help decompress the discs and relieve pain.

4. Chest and Shoulder Stretch -Stand and clasp your hands together behind your back, arms straight. Lift your hands towards the ceiling, going only as high as is comfortable. You should feel a stretch in your shoulders and chest. Hold for 15 to 30 seconds, repeating one to three times. If your shoulders are a little tight, try just taking your arms out to the sides like an airplane.

Chest and Shoulder Stretch

5. Upper Back Stretch- Clasp your hands together in front of you and round your back, pressing your arms away from your body to feel a stretch in your upper back. Make sure you contract the abs, to really get the most out of this stretch. Hold for 15 to 30 seconds, repeating one to three times.

Upper Back and Neck Stretch

Even if you can't do all these stretches right away it's important to start slowly and build up to it. A little bit a day makes a big difference to your mental and physical health.

Positive encouragement sign