Do you ever feel that afternoon slump? It never fails each day at around two o’clock, my eyes become so heavy that I can’t keep them open. After hours of staring into the vapid blackness of my computer with my fingers fumbling along on the keyboard, my neck is stiff and my back hurts. So what’s a girl to do?

There are a few yoga and stretching moves that you can do in your chair that will instantly revive you.

Debbie Phraner, an Integrative Yoga Therapist for Yoga for You, recommends the following seven stretches as a great way to keep your body flexible, especially when you have a limited amount of time for working out and need a quick pick me up. You can easily accomplish these exercises just about anywhere you have access to a chair or bench. Make sure to hold each move for 15 seconds and take deep breathes during each move. Repeat as often as you would like.

1.      Upper Back/Neck Rotation

           Sit upright in a chair. Look over one shoulder and position your arms on the back of the chair. Keep your arms on the chair to provide an extra stretch.

2.      Back Relaxer

Sit on your chair. Bend down between your knees as far as you can reach. Return to an upright position and straighten your back.

3.      Tummy Tuck

            Sit upright in a chair. Hold on to the arms of the chair or a point under the seat of the chair. With your feet together and knees bent, lift your knees toward your chest while contracting your abdominal muscles. Hold for 3 to 5 seconds. Relax and repeat.

4.      Quadriceps Stretch

            Bring your legs straight out in front of your body and then hold. Make sure you are sitting up straight with feet flexed.

5.      Side Stretch

            Interlace your fingers. Lift your arms over your head, keeping your elbows straight. Press your arms back as far as you can. Then slowly lean to the left and then to the right stretching out your sides.

6.      Fingers Stretch

           With palms down, spread your fingers apart as far as you can. Hold for the count of five.

7.      Shoulder Rolls

           Slowly roll your shoulders forward 5 times in a circular motion using your full range of motion. Then roll your shoulders backward 5 times with the same circular motion.

I have been doing these stretches in the afternoon for a while now. What a great stress reliever and energizer! I no longer feel tired and looking to hit the snack machine for junk food.

Try these moves the next time you are feeling stressed or looking for some revitalization. Your flexibility will increase along with your stamina. Remember to take deep breaths to further the relaxation effort and drink plenty of water.


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