Discussion

I challenge you to…relax

Each month, the employees here at H3 take on the same principles as our Guests, as we challenge ourselves to modify our behaviors, one step at a time, to a healthier way of living.  Our employee wellness program, Operation HEALTH, is our motivation to continue making the best choices and improve our health so that we can help others do the same.

 

This month, our challenge is to RELAX.  Our busy lifestyles – with work, children, families, etc. – can leave us frazzled and leaving little time to ‘stop and smell the roses’.

 

I challenge you to join us – in taking at least 15 minutes out of your day to enjoy the quiet through journaling, meditating, yoga or other forms of relaxation techniques.  H3 Wellness Counselor, Beth Leermakers, shares how to re-create her class featuring Progressive Muscle Relaxation on your own.

 

Progressive Muscle Relaxation (PMR) helps release muscle tension. Your muscles tighten as one of the first signs of stress and can become a real pain in the neck (or lower back). But this pain doesn’t have to be a way of life.  PMR is simple yet effective at reducing pain and enhancing relaxation. 

 

You can practice progressive muscle relaxation while lying down or sitting in a chair.  Tense each muscle group for 5-7 seconds, then release and relax it for 20-30 seconds.  Tense and relax each muscle group at least once.  If a particular muscle group is particularly tight, you may want to tense and relax that group up to five times. 

 

Muscle Group

Instructions

 

 

Hands and forearms Clench your fists, palm down, and bring your hands toward your shoulders
Upper arms Bend your elbows and “make a muscle” by tensing your biceps
Upper forehead Raise your eyebrows and wrinkle your forehead
Lower forehead Pull your eyebrows together; try to get them to meet
Eyes Close your eyes tightly (be careful if you wear contacts)
Jaw Open your mouth wide
Lips Press your lips together, but try not to clench your teeth or jaw
Neck and back Put your head back against the back of your chair
Shoulders Shrug your shoulders up toward your ears
Chest Take a deep breath and hold it for 5-7 seconds, then release it
Stomach Pull your stomach in toward your back
Lower back Arch your back without straining
Buttocks Tighten your buttocks
Thighs and calves Straighten and tense your legs and curl your toes downward
Shins and feet Bend your toes toward your knees

 

I challenge you to try it…I promise you won’t regret it!

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