Feeling overwhelmed by life? Try this simple exercise plan for on-the-spot stress relief
Need a go-to exercise routine for when everything seems on top of you? This easy, de-stress work-out will help calm the mind, while relaxing your muscles.
1. Tabletop pose
Lie on your back with knees bent. Place your hands under your shoulders and push your body up into a ‘tabletop’ position. Hold for 30 seconds, then rest for 30 seconds. Repeat three times.
How it helps: This exercise releases tight, stressed shoulder and chest muscles, helping you to feel more relaxed.
2. Gentle cardio
It’s time to grab your skipping rope! Try a quick burst of skipping and then resting for 60 seconds each. Repeat three times. Not a fan of skipping? Ten minutes of gentle jogging, cycling, dancing or swimming will work too.
How it helps: Gentle cardio boosts mood and alertness while increasing blood flow, yet without stressing the nervous system.
3. Bar hang
Have access to a pull-up bar? Try hanging off it for 30 to 45 seconds, and then rest as needed. Repeat twice more.
How it helps: Passively hanging from a bar elongates the spine, which releases tension while relaxing the back, neck and shoulders.
4. Wide-legged forward bend
Stand with your legs apart and your hands at your sides. Keeping your legs and back straight, bend from your hips, bringing your chest towards the floor. Hold for 60 to 90 seconds.
How it helps: This bend increases space between your vertebrae, which helps relax the rear and inner thighs, and calves. And with the head below your heart, the brain receives oxygenated blood, helping you feel more energised. However, it’s best to avoid this move if you have back pain or low blood pressure.
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5. Legs up the wall
Lie on your back with your bottom positioned up against a wall. With your legs straight, raise them up against the wall. Open your arms out to your sides so they are perpendicular to your body, palms facing up. Stay here for at least five minutes, and breathe deeply.
How it helps stress: This meditative yoga pose is very restorative. Being in an inverted pose soothes the nervous system and releases tension in the back and legs.
Advice is for information only and should not replace medical care. Please check with your GP before trying any remedies.