De-Stress with these 3 "E-cises"

If you’re feeling stressed these days it’s understandable. Tax time, preparing for spring break, work galore, and very little play can all add up to tight muscles and even tighter waistlines.  
The body’s physical response to stress is to go into fight or flight mode. Your heart rate increases, your breathing gets quicker and more shallow, your muscles tense up, and you begin to think about a Mai Tai on a tropical beach in Fiji. The first step is to allow yourself 10 minutes to decompress. These 3 e-cises will take 10 minutes and will have you walking away feeling refreshed and renewed. Mai Tai’s are optional.  

Static Back - Hold for 5 mins.
This e-cise will take all the stress off the muscles of your shoulders, neck and back, and allow you to focus on breathing. Breathe in allowing your lower abdomen to expand up and out, and then breathe out letting it fall. Slow, rhythmic breaths are the key here, not necessarily deep ones. This exercise is also triggering the diaphragm and restoring the circulation to your whole body.

Put your legs up at a 90-degree angle on a chair or couch. You should have your palms up and arms at a 45-degree angle below your shoulders.  
Static Extension Position - Hold for 2 mins.
This exercise will realign your shoulders and spine while taking the stress off your neck. Relax your stomach here and let your head fall. 
Start on your hands and knees with your hands directly under your shoulders and your hips about 3” forward of your knees. Let your stomach relax and your back sway to create an arch throughout your entire back. Let your shoulder blades come together and drop your head.
Wall Drop-Hold - Hold for 3 mins.
This e-cise will remind your ankles, knees and hips of their functional alignment while allowing your upper body to relax. The key here again is to breathe. Breathe in letting your diaphragm and lower abdomen expand and then breathe out letting it all relax. Keep your upper chest and shoulders relaxed!  You can substitute a step-ladder or stepping stool for the slant board by bringing it near the wall. Stand with your feet pointed straight and hip width apart while your head, shoulders, and butt are against the wall.  Drop your heels off the edge of one of the rungs keeping your heels in contact with the wall.    
All you need is 10 minutes and you’ll feel like a rejuvenated and energized version of your former tense and anxious self!


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