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How often do you stretch? Do you have time to take a break during the day or are you glued to your desk? Stretching can give you a boost of energy and help you focus on the present. It can also relieve tense muscles, decrease discomfort and improve blood flow.
Next time you’re feeling stressed, take a stretching break. Here’s how.
Relax Your Shoulders
It’s easy to find yourself hunched over the computer in the middle of the day. You may not even notice what you’re doing until you feel a twinge in your neck or tightness in your shoulders. Shoulder rolls are a great way to take a quick break from a full inbox:
- Sit up straight in your chair with your feet flat on the floor
- Lift your shoulders up toward your ears
- Slowly roll your shoulders back and breath deep
- Repeat up to 10 times
Loosen Your Neck
Looking down at a desk all day can give anyone a crick in the neck. Next time you’re feeling the tension of a busy work day rising to your neck, try a few simple neck rolls:
- Gently lower your head to one shoulder
- Slowly roll your neck forward and to the other shoulder
- Repeat 10 times
Get Up and Move
It can get uncomfortable sitting in a chair after a while. Take a break to destress and improve blood flow by getting up and moving around. Do a few simple stretches as you move:
- Gently swing your arms from side to side
- Do calf raises and stretches
- Lunge to help loosen hamstrings and quads
- Loosen your hips and IT band: Bring your right foot behind the left. Bring your arms over your head and lean toward to left.
- Hold for 5-10 seconds. Switch legs, bringing the left behind the right and lean toward the right.
If you feel self-conscious stretching in the middle of the office, head to an empty conference room. Or, head outside to a more private space. This time away can help you refresh your body and recharge your mind, making it easier to focus on work.
Make Stretching a Regular Part of Your Day
When stretching is part of your daily routine, you’ll find you feel better and are more productive. Schedule regular stretching breaks. Put it on your calendar and get into the habit of taking care of your body, mind and spirit throughout your day.