April 21, 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.


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!

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.

Is Stress Eating You or Are You Eating your Stress? By Tammy Beasley

STRESS – just the word can make your heart beat faster, blood pressure rise, and mood turn irritable. And stress can make you turn to food too, to feel better. It’s true that stress burns more energy (calories), especially the type of energy that supplies a chemical called serotonin.  This chemical helps relax and calm you, and carbohydrates start the process. This calming effect can be produced by a handful of whole-wheat crackers or fresh fruit, but often a handful of cookies is more appealing.

What can you do to STOP stress-induced eating?

Declare your desk, computer, television, loud music and any other distractions off limits until AFTER you eat something.

Plan ahead by keeping an ‘emergency snack pack’ available. Avoid higher sugar, simple carbohydrate foods as much as possible, which can actually increase your appetite even more.

Choose a combination of whole grains and lean protein such as a mozzarella cheese stick and whole-wheat crackers, or peanut butter and apple slices. If those aren’t convenient, prepare ahead by having your own trail mix of whole-wheat cereal squares mixed with slivered almonds and raisins handy.

No matter what, slow down and give yourself a 10-minute break to fuel your brain with healthy, lasting fuel to relax those stress hormones and boost your energy. And if emotions take over and you dive into a plate of brownies, clear your head by sitting down first, then slow down and savor each bite. Diffuse the quick rush and fall from simple sugars by adding protein, like a cold glass of low fat milk. Most importantly, get right back on track and don’t let guilt cloud your way. Remember it is what you do more often than not that makes a difference.

Tammy Beasley, RD, CSSD, LD, CEDRD
Rev It Up for Life