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Stretching Out The Stress

by Kathy Peck

Scientific studies conclude that stress causes many ailments in our bodies and minds. Reduction of stress has proven to help lessen the impact of hearing impairments, tinnitus, meniere's disease, emotional upsets, fatigue, carpul tunnel, to name but a few.

Muscle stretching is an effective way to relieve tension. Under stress, muscles automatically tense. Stretching exercises loosen tight muscles and should be done in a way that best fits your abilities.

Before beginning any exercise program, consult your physician. If you are unable to try a particular exercise, find one that works for you.

Consider the following muscle stretching exercises:

  • Back stretch. From sitting position in a chair, lean toward the floor. Relax your head and neck while resting your body on your lap.

  • Neck stretch. While standing or sitting, tilt your head slowly to the right without moving your shoulders. Then. slowly tilt your head to the left. Do this five times for each side.

  • Shoulder and arm stretch. Hold your hands together with fingers interlocked and stretch your hands overhead with palms upward. Hold this position for about 30 seconds.

  • Passive back stretch. Lie on the floor with your legs on a chair. Relax, pressing your lower back onto the floor. Stay in this position for several minutes.

  • Hamstring stretch. With one foot supported on a low chair, lean forward slowly towards that leg. Bend from your back, keeping both your back and your leg straight. Do five repetitions for each leg.

  • Upper body stretch. With feet apart, reach over head and stretch your upper body to the side. Try to do this without moving your hips. Hold this position or 30 seconds, then switch sides.


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