AUTHOR:
Kim C.

DATE:
February 2, 2015

CATEGORIES:
Healthy Life

READING TIME:
2 minutes

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Release Tension and Reduce Headaches – At Your Desk

AUTHOR:
Kim C.

DATE:
February 2, 2015

CATEGORIES:
Healthy Life

READING TIME:
2 minutes

Aching in your head, neck, shoulders, or back can be a big distraction when you're trying to get work done. To help relax your muscles and your mind, take brief – one to five minute – stretch breaks a few times a day. Try these stretches to get started:

  • Neck Roll – Drop your chin down to your chest to stretch the back of your neck. Keeping your shoulders relaxed, slowly roll your head side to side bringing your right ear towards your right shoulder then left ear towards left shoulder. Stop and hold the stretch for a few seconds when you reach an area of your neck that feels especially tight.
  • Shoulder Roll – With neck relaxed and arms hanging loosely by your sides, roll your shoulders forward, upward, and back in a small circle, five to ten times, then reverse directions.
  • Seated Spinal Twist – Sit up straight. Place both hands on the right arm of your chair. Keeping your hips in place, gently pull to twist to the right from the waist up pushing your left shoulder back and your right shoulder forward. Turn your head to look over your left shoulder. Hold for about 10 seconds then repeat on the other side.
  • Chest Opener – Sit up straight near the front edge of your chair. Place both hands on your lower back, fingers pointing towards your tailbone. Try to point your elbows towards the back of your chair while squeezing your shoulder blades together and pushing your chest forward. Hold for about 15 seconds.
  • Shoulder Stretch – Straighten your right arm out in front of you. Using your left hand grab onto your right arm in between your wrist and your elbow. Pull your right arm across your chest, bringing it as close to your left shoulder as possible. Keep your right shoulder down away from your ear. Hold for about 10 seconds, and then repeat on the other side.

People also tend to hold a lot of unnecessary tension in the jaw and around their eyes. To further reduce tension and possible headaches, take time to let the muscles in your face relax. Gently close your eyes, let your jaw relax, and take a few big deep breaths. You can also give yourself a light massage by moving your fingers in a gentle circular motion around your eyes and across your jaw.

Finally, try eating a handful of almonds to ward off aches. Almonds contain a natural pain reliever called salicin, which is similar to aspirin. Almonds also have a high level of magnesium, which aids in muscle relaxation and reduces nerve excitability, both of which can help reduce headaches caused by stress and anxiety. Almonds are also a healthy way to help stop headaches caused by low blood sugar.

If a lot of your day is spent at a desk, it's easy to let tension and muscle aches build up. Try these tips to stretch out and relax. Your body will thank you!

Reynolds and Reynolds is committed to wellness as a way to help employees develop healthy habits that help them be more productive and engaged, both professionally and personally.


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Kim C.

Kim works as the Fitness Specialist at Reynolds Headquarters where she helps employees better understand the steps to developing a healthy lifestyle. She graduated from Hope College in Holland, Michigan, with a degree in Exercise Science and is an American Council on Exercise (ACE) certified group instructor and an American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) certified personal trainer. Her passion is running, and she regularly participates in 5k runs in the Dayton area.