Mini-Workout: Burn and Drop Stress

“Let it go, let it go, let it go…”  Here is a quick, feel-good, stress-reducer for all ages
on this last week of 2010!

  • Arm Circles:  Arm out straight like the letter “T” draw circles the size of a baseball 10 times forward and 10 times backward.  Repeat the size of a beach ball.  Relax your arms to your sides and follow it with a few shoulder rolls forward and backward.  Feel the neck tension slip away! 
  • Pillow Punching:  Make sure the pillow is not one you wish to keep, and it’s against a surface you won’t break (or hurt your hand on).  Start out slow punching right and left fists and increase your speed and intensity over 30 throws.
  • Squat Cat/Cow:  In a slightly squatted position (think of preparing to sit but stopping halfway to the chair), place your hands on your thighs with your back straight.  Cat Back: Exhale and look at your belly button, rounding your spine.  Cow: Now inhale and look forward and up slightly, reversing the curve of your spine and lengthening your abdominals/chest/neck.  Repeat for a total of 3 cat/cows.  Stand up tall.  (Skip this exercise if your doctor has indicated spinal concerns, such as osteoporosis).
  • Passive Leg Swings:  Standing tall on one leg (place the same arm on a stable surface for balance) bring the opposite knee forward and up, then let the weight bring it down and slightly up in the back.  Repeat swinging front to back 8 times each leg.  For a lateral (side) swing, bring your knee out to the side with your hip open, drop slowly back to center, then cross the knee over and up your standing leg.  Repeat opening and crossing side to side 8 times on each leg.  Tip: Allow the leg to swing no higher than hip-level.
  • Inhale/Exhale Arm Circles:  With your shoulder down and back, inhale reaching your arms out to the sides, bringing the palm of your hands together overhead.  Exhale the arms out and down, palms down, to your sides.  Repeat for 3 breaths.

If you have time, go for a walk: Bundle up, hop on a treadmill, or circle your office or house for 10 minutes.  Repeat each morning this week to continue enjoying your relaxed state!

Here are some similar posts from the archives:
Night-Time Relaxation Tricks
Sweet, Blissful Sleep
Fun Calorie Burns for Holiday Eating