Quick Stress Relief Tip: 5 Easy Stretching Exercises You Can Do In 5 Minutes

Are you sitting behind your desk all day, working behind your computer? If you are, there is a good chance that your posture isn’t the best when you are typing away under the stress of a short deadline. Under stress it is common to tense up the shoulders, have a shallow breath in your upper chest, and even to have shaking legs hidden under your desk.

Stretch behind your desk

Also, many people under stress do not take enough short breaks during the day. The consequence is that they hold the tension in their body for a long time during the day. You might not even realize that you tense up your body, until you leave the office. Then you feel tired and experience pain in your shoulders, arms or neck.

If this sounds familiar, then it is time to take action. The following five exercises give relief by producing a nice stretch to the tense muscles in your body. If you practice these exercises, you will feel much better afterwards.

It is best to perform all exercises standing. Some could also be performed seated. However, if you are sitting in your chair all day already, it is good to embrace any opportunity to change your position.

1. Full body stretch

Stand up out of your chair. Stretch your arms above you and intertwine the fingers of both hands (as if you are going to pray), with the palms of your hand facing upwards. Now stretch yourself as far as possible, aim to reach the roof. You can even try to stand on your toes. Hold the stretch for 1-2 seconds and release.

Repeat five times.

2. Shoulders roll

Roll your shoulders backwards in a circular movement. Do this ten times. No roll your shoulders in the opposite direction, also ten times.

3. Fingers stretch

Let your arms hang loosely next to your body. Make a strong fist with both of your hands. Hold for 1-2 seconds. Now release the fist and stretch your fingers as far and wide as you can. Also hold for 1-2 seconds.

Repeat ten times.

4. Torso twist

Stand up, with your feet firmly on the ground. Turn your upper body to the left. Rotate like a spiral, starting from the hips. Do not force it, but instead gently move your turn up the spine. Also rotate your head, as if it were an extension of the spine. Hold the twist for 2-3 seconds. Exhale when you turn, inhale when you turn back to center. When you twist back to center, make sure you do so slowly. Once back in the center, turn to the right in a similar manner.

Repeat ten times.

5. Forward bend

Stand up straight, with your feet hip distance apart. Raise your arms above your head. Bend forward from the hips and bring your hands to the floor. If it is not possible to touch the floor, either place your hands on your knees or shins, or simply let them hang in the air. Don’t push yourself in this bend. It is ok to feel a nice stretch in your hamstrings, but accept the limitations of your body if you are not able to touch the floor. Your upper body should be fully relaxed. If you desperately try to touch the floor, your upper body will be tense instead of relaxed. Hold the bend for 10 seconds.

Repeat five times.

Bonus tip

After lunch, leave the office and go for a walk. The fresh air and movement of your body will do miracles for your sense of wellbeing.

You can perform these exercises in five minutes. Your body will thank you for it at the end of the day!

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