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6 Quick Stretches For Stress Relief - Health - Nairaland

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6 Quick Stretches For Stress Relief by yanga24(m): 2:18am On Sep 20, 2023
From soothing poses like Happy Baby and Child’s Pose to desk-friendly stretches, these yoga stretches provide a moment to pause and embrace relaxation.
For most of us, experiencing some level of stress at various points throughout the day has become a common occurrence. It might stem from an overflowing email inbox, a jam-packed calendar, household chores piling up, or unexpected issues like a stubborn clogged sink or health concerns.

Effectively managing stress doesn’t necessarily involve eliminating every potential stressor, as that’s often impractical. Instead, it’s about equipping ourselves with the right tools and techniques to handle stress without it becoming overwhelming. Stretching is just one such tool you can employ in your stress management arsenal.

One compelling reason why stretching proves effective in stress reduction is that our predominantly sedentary lifestyles often lead to muscle stiffness, which is a primary source of stress, as explained by Jessica Matthews, an assistant professor of kinesiology and integrative wellness at Point Loma Nazarene University in San Diego and the author of “Stretching to Stay Young.” She notes, “The restrictions in our range of motion due to tight, rigid muscles not only impact our physical performance during exercise and everyday activities but also influence our physical and mental well-being.”

Conversely, stretching offers an accessible means to unwind and alleviate stress during or after a hectic day, according to Matthews, who is also a certified yoga instructor affiliated with Yoga Alliance, the world’s largest nonprofit yoga association that certifies teachers and schools. The stress that accumulates in your muscles often manifests as tension, and when you release that muscular tension through stretching, you can tap into your body’s capacity to alleviate mental stress, as outlined by Harvard Health Publishing.

Kelsey Decker, a personal trainer certified by the National Strength and Conditioning Association and an education coordinator for StretchLab in Orange County, California, further explains, “Stretching and movement enhance proper circulation, boost oxygen levels, and release muscle tension.” These combined effects contribute to relaxation. Enhanced circulation relaxes the muscles, sending mood-enhancing blood flow to the brain. Increased oxygen levels, achieved by deep breathing during stretches, slow down your heart rate and reduce blood pressure. Lastly, letting go of the physical tension during a stretch signals your brain to relax.

When practicing yoga stretches, Matthews recommends holding each stretch for 15 to 30 seconds, repeating each stretch two to four times, following the guidelines from the American College of Sports Medicine. During each repetition, take five slow and deliberate breaths, each lasting approximately 15 seconds.

Please note: If you experience tingling, numbness, or pain when attempting any of the following yoga stretches or if an illness or injury prevents you from safely performing them, it’s advisable to skip them or consult your doctor for appropriate modifications.

6 Quick Stretches for Stress Relief
Here are six yoga stretches that help your body and mind relax:

1. Happy Baby
This stretch offers the advantage of hip opening, addressing a frequent source of back tightness. As Kelsey Decker notes, “Our extended periods of sitting each day often lead to poor body posture.” Additionally, yoga stretches such as this one can be beneficial for easing persistent back discomfort, as suggested by the Mayo Clinic.

Here’s how to perform it: Begin by lying on your back, then elevate your knees towards your chest. Securely grasp the soles of each foot with your hands and draw your knees towards your chest and armpits.
Read more: https://www.mon2talk.com/6-quick-stretches-for-stress-relief

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