It’s no secret that exercise can maintain fitness, mental condition, and reduce stress. Launching the Anxiety and Depression Association of America, exercise is effective in improving mood, alertness, concentration, and overall cognitive function.
Want to get rid of stress, but don’t want to do sports that are too strenuous? Try doing the light movements below, let’s go!
1. Yoga pose downward facing dog
Quoting Everyday Health, yoga is a strength exercise that makes the body more flexible and resilient. In addition, yoga triggers the body’s relaxation response because it uses deep breathing. The biggest benefit is mental health, including stress management.
One of the most basic and easy yoga movements for beginners to do is a downward-facing dog or adho mukha svanasana in Sanskrit. As reported by Healthline, this yoga pose stretches the muscles of the back legs, lengthens the spine, calms the nervous system, treats headaches, and releases stress.
How to do it? First, do a plank and then push your hands forward while lifting your hips and stretching your legs back. Make sure your feet are straight and your heels point to the floor. Hold for up to 30 seconds.
2. The cat-camel stretch
The next light movement is the cat camel stretch. Unique name, huh? This is a good warm-up exercise and is great for spinal flexibility, Lifehack quotes.
In addition, stretching can relieve muscle tension, release stress, help the body relax, and make you sleep more soundly, reported by Wellness Corporate Solutions. Let’s try practicing the cat-camel stretch!
First of all, position the body like crawling. Then, push your back up like a camel’s hump. Then, lower your back down until your upper back is arched and your stomach is coming forward. Repeat this slowly, at least 4-5 times.
3. Jumping jacks
From a physical point of view, jumping jacks are good for the cardiovascular system. This movement balances heart rate, controls and maintains blood pressure, lowers bad cholesterol levels, improves blood circulation throughout the body, and prevents stroke or heart attack, reported by https://www.financeblogger.de.
Besides being physically beneficial, jumping jacks are good for our psychology. This movement encourages the release of endorphins, which are hormones that prevent stress and depression and overcome the problem of insomnia.
The way to do it is simple, that is, stand up straight and then both legs jump out at the same time and then return to their original position. To quote PopSugar, do this movement continuously for 45 seconds then rest for 15 seconds to take a breath and continue again.
4. Side leg lift
Want to exercise while lying down? Just do the side leg lift! This move targets the outer thighs, glutes, and hips. The fun thing is, you can practice this movement while doing other activities, such as watching television, reading books, watching movies, or chatting.
As reported by PopSugar, start by lying on one side, then lift your upper leg wide. Repeat up to 20 reps, before switching positions with the other leg.
If we do this regularly, what are the benefits we get? Quoting Healthline, body stabilization and range of motion improve, increase muscle endurance, prevent injury or pain related to hips, knees, and lower back, and of course reduce stress!
5. Reciprocal yoga movements
It is not uncommon for yoga poses to provide peace of mind and reduce stress. One of them is like a reply or a child’s pose. Citing Ayurveda Magazine, this movement can relieve stress and fatigue and increase blood circulation.
First of all, sit on the floor with your legs bent back and make sure your toes are close together. While exhaling, lower your body and stretch your arms forward.
More or less the reciprocal movement is like worshiping something. At least, hold this pose for at least 30 seconds while controlling your breathing. If you’re getting proficient, increase it to 45-60 seconds.
6. Bicycle crunch
One more movement that you can do while lying down is the bicycle crunch. According to InShape, this movement targets the transversus abdominis or deep abdomen, strengthening the core, improving posture and endurance, and improving coordination.
To do this, start by lying on your back on the floor. Then, bend your knees and place your hands behind your head. Slowly raise your knees at a 90-degree angle as if you were pedaling a bicycle, reported by Verywell Fit.
Do it alternately with the other leg. At least, repeat up to 12-20 reps and three sets. To make the atmosphere more lively, play your favorite music. Guaranteed, after doing the bicycle crunch, you will sweat and reduce stress!
7. Taichi movement
The last one, there’s no harm in trying taichi. It is an ancient Chinese martial art that combines physical movement with the art of breathing. Taichi can reduce stress, worry, increase flexibility and energy, and make your sleep more sound.
Taichi has 13 main postures that are mutually sustainable. Quoting Tai Chi and Qigong, the postures in question are peng (ward off), lu (turn back), chi (press), a (push), Tsai (pull-down), Lieh (separate), chou (elbow strike), Kao (shoulder blow), chin (forward), tui (backward), Ku (look left), pan (look right), and ting (center).
To make it easier, look for pictures of this movement on the internet along with the guide. In addition, you can watch videos on YouTube or other platforms. It would be even better if we were taught directly by a competent taichi instructor.
Well, those are some light exercise movements that can help reduce stress. What are you waiting for? Come on, try it now at home!