Stress may start in your head, but it certainly doesn’t stay there. It takes hold in just about every system of the body, including your musculoskeletal system, causing it to tense up, contract, and — if you don’t do something about it — stay that way, setting the stage for aches, pains, stiffness, even changes in your body’s natural alignment, leading to more problems down the road.
And while you may think that sitting in a chair for hours on end isn’t that physically stressful — think again. Your body, quite simply, was designed to move, not sit in one position all day. So one surefire way to work stress out of your body is to get up every half hour or at least once an hour and move.
Physical exercise — particularly of the more vigorous, sweaty nature — is a fantastic way to metabolize your stress. But even if you don’t have time today, you can make time to get up, move, and take a few delicious stretches to help relieve muscle tension. Plus, it just feels really good.
And if you want to wrap some numbers around it, consider this: Whole Living magazine reported that just by standing up an extra hour every day, you’ll burn 5,000 more calories in the course of a year.
They also offer a few tips (and you can read more here):
• Stand up every time the phone rings and when you take calls.
• Pick up your pace. Going for a quick errand? Walk faster.
• Do more errands on foot.
The Mayo Clinic suggests these simple stretches you can do right in the office.
You’ll not only relieve physical tension on the spot, but refresh your mind and up your productivity, too.
— Terri Trespicio