Not only does stress affect you mentally, but it also affects the gastrointestinal system and appetite, according to research
. Bad moods, dips in energy, fatigue and chronic body aches can be attributed to stress as well. That's why now, more than ever, it's imperative to establish a stress relief workout routine that's integrated into your daily life.
Whether you've got five, 10 or 15 minutes, we've created a routine just for you. Yoga poses help balance the mind and body, and specific balance exercises help stabilize the mind. Neck and shoulder exercises also help alleviate chronic tension headaches or stress headaches and muscular tightness. Continue reading to get relief.
Standing or sitting, place your hands behind your head in a basket grip.
Gently drop your chin toward your chest and hug the elbows around your face.
Use the tension of your hands and arms to weigh your cervical spine down while maintaining a straight thoracic spine. Feel a stretch from the base of your skull down through your cervical vertebrae.
Breathing in and out through the nose, hold this for five deep breaths, and then release slowly.
This pose allows you to start by feeling grounded and centered with the breath. It connects you to the Earth, aligns your spine and allows your body to ease into the start of the yoga practice.
Standing with your feet as wide as your hips, press down evenly through all 10 toes and squeeze your quadriceps (the large muscle at the front of each thigh) to engage your legs. Pull your naval in toward your spine. Roll your shoulders back, and allow the arms to dangle down by your sides with the shoulders externally rotated. Open the palms to face forward.
Bring the chin back so that the upper back is straight. Relax the shoulders. Take five slow, deep breaths, breathing in through the nose and out through the nose. Fill up the belly and then the chest as you inhale, and release the chest then the belly as you exhale.
Forward fold clasping opposite elbows
This pose has a calming effect on the nervous system because it places your body in a position that is inward-focused. Holding on to opposite elbows also provides traction for your shoulders and neck to help relieve tension in the upper body.
Stand with your feet as wide as your hips, place your hands on your hips and slowly hinge forward at your waist. Allow your arms to dangle down, and then hold on to opposite elbows with your head in the center.
Shake your head yes and no, and press the weight evenly down through both feet. Hold for five deep breaths, and then release the arms down and slowly roll up to standing.
While standing or sitting, outstretch your arms. Cross your right arm over your left arm, and then bend at the elbows.
Flex your wrists so that you can the