April 14, 2024

Shoulder Shrug for Stress Release

Healthy Body:

Shrug exercise for stress release

The neck is a common place to hold muscle tension and stress.  Combine your shoulder shrug stretch with deep breathing for an instant tension and stress release. Here’s how: Inhale, pull your shoulders up toward your ears. Exhale and pull your shoulders down and back.


*Consult your physician before performing exercise.


Take a Break…

Get Fit Quick Tip:

Take a Break…

… and practice deep breathing! Simply close your eyes and take three to five deep breaths. Don’t worry about breathing technique such as breathing in through your nose or out your mouth, etc, do what feels most comfortable to you. Instead breathe in for a count of 2-3 seconds, hold for 1 second, then slowly exhale for 3-5 seconds. Then pause and relax, and begin again. The key is to not rush each breathe, just find your natural rhythm. When we breathe mindfully, our nervous system receive a message to relax. In doing so, our muscles relax, tension releases, stress decreases, our mind clears and we feel better.


Shrug Your Stress Out!

Get Fit Quick Tip:

Shrug your shoulders!

Shrug your stress out with this daily stretch. Here’s how:

Inhale and pull your shoulders straight up toward your ears. Exhale and pull your shoulders down and back. Repeat 3-5 times, extending the duration of your exhale/shoulders down with each deep breath.


*Consult your physician before performing exercise.

Stress Relief Made Simple

Get Fit Quick Tip:

Breathe and Move!

Stressed out? When you’re stressed out breathing becomes shallow and muscles become tight. Eliminate stress from your body and your mind with these actions:

Inhale for 2-3 seconds pulling your shoulders up to your ears.

Exhale slowly for 3-4 seconds pulling your shoulders down and back.

Repeat 3 times.

Next head out for a 5-10 minute power walk. Move your arms as you walk and turn over your legs quickly. Walk your hallway, your office, your complex or around the building. A brisk walk forces deep breathing. Deep breathing is where muscle tension is reduced and stress relief happens. Enjoy!

Take a Breather…

Get Fit Quick Tip:

Mindful Breathing!

No, you don’t always need a quiet room. No, you don’t need to be sitting cross-legged on the floor. No, you don’t need to be wearing workout wear. Anywhere, anytime, your stress-reducing move is just seconds away. Here’s how:

Inhale through your nose for a count of 3-4 seconds. Hold for 1 second. Exhale through your mouth for a count of 4-6 seconds. Each time a thought races into your head, simply clear your mind and return your attention to your breathing. Repeat until you’re able to completely clear your mind.

A regular habit of mindful deep breathing will reduce muscle tension and mental stress of every kind.


Get Fit Quick Tip:

Deep Breathing!

Practice mindful deep breathing regularly during your day to decrease physical and mental stress. Inhale for a count of 3-4 seconds. Hold for 1 second. Exhale for a count of 4-6 seconds. Slowly extend the duration of your exhale. Repeat for 2-3 breaths. Make breathing-breaks a priority during your day and you’ll feel better, think more clearly and have more energy!

Desk Posture Stretch

Get Fit Quick Tip:

At your desk posture stretch!

Sit forward in your chair with both feet flat. Inhale and reach both arms straight up overhead. Lace your fingers with your palms facing down. Exhale, lean to your right. Inhale, return to the center. Exhale, lean to your left. Inhale, return to the center. Exhale, lower your arms. Repeat 2-3 times.

Stretching reduces muscle tension, and the deep breathing reduces stress. Perform this stretch a few times each day for physical and mental benefits!


*Consult your physician before beginning exercise.

How to Stretch During Your Day

Get Fit Quick Tip:

Stretch during your day!

Decrease lower body tension and muscle aches that come with sitting in your office chair for hours on end. Here’s how:

Stand up behind your chair. Hold on to the chair for support with your left hand. Bend your right knee and hold your right ankle behind your body with your right hand. Keep your torso upright. Hold for 10-30 seconds, then slowly release. Repeat the same stretch, holding on to the chair with your right hand. Bend your left knee and hold your left ankle with your left hand. Stand up tall and breathe, hold for 10-30 seconds, slowly release.


*Always consult your physician before performing exercise.

Go ahead, take a break! By Nicole Burley

Break-time is essential! Taking regular breaks in our day increases general health and wellness and improves work productivity.

For the young-uns among us, Thirty Something was a TV drama during the 80′s and it was about a group of 30-something yuppie-types in Philadelphia. Two of the main characters worked at an ad agency. They would often play nerf basketball in the office in the middle of the day! Nerf basketball! At work! You know, when they were supposed to be ‘working’! Anyone who sets up a basketball hoop in the office understands something really important about how human beings operate:

We need breaks. Breaks matter.

There’s a reason that companies like Google and Zappos are consistently ranked as the best places to work. They seem to understand this fundamental concept about people. We need time to play. We need breathing room at work to reconnect to who we are – because not only does it make us happier in general, but it makes us better at our work.

Here are just a few of the benefits of taking a little breather throughout the course of your day:

Taking a break can spark your creativity by helping you look on your work with fresh eyes.
Regular breaks can actually help you accomplish more, because they help renew your energy and focus.

A 5-minute break gives you an opportunity to get up from your desk to stretch or move your body.

Breaks are a great stress-reducer.

Think about it. We have built breaks into our calendar year in the form of holidays and vacations. We have built breaks into our week in the form of the weekend. And we even have the lunch break built into each day to make sure we take time to eat. We seem to know on some level that it’s important not to be all work and no play.

Find ways to take multiple breaks throughout the course of each day. Breaks could consist of:

A break can be as simple as a single minute spent focusing on your breath.

A break can be a few moments spent staring out the window.

A break can also be 15-minutes of nerf basketball or a mini dance-break in your office!

Finding ways to refresh your energy while you’re at work results in feeling better and thinking better, both of which add up to improved work productivity. How can you give yourself more breaks?

Nicole Burley, M.Ed is a certified Life Coach and Health Coach in NYC. Her motto is, “Health is fun. Diets are not”. Nicole helps frustrated dieters find a happy, healthy weight – no dieting or deprivation allowed! Nicole holds a masters degree in education from DePaul and a certificate in Plant-Based Nutrition from Cornell. She is a graduate of Coach U and a certified member of the International Coach Federation. Contact Nicole via www.NicoleBurley.com or on Facebook.com/NicoleBurleyCoaching and Twitter: @YourCoachNicole