Exercise and relaxation

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Simple movement exercises for a short relaxation in between

Shoulder circles, shoulder lifts

This very simple and effective exercise can even be done at your desk: circle your shoulders in the largest, but most comfortable circles possible. You may want to close your eyes and feel into your shoulder girdle for the right direction and intensity. Feel how the movement massages your shoulder muscles. Circle forward and then backward a few times. You may want to try circling the shoulders in a staggered manner. You can also raise and lower the shoulders – either slowly lowering or dropping them. It is best to try both, feel the difference and do whichever is more comfortable. Breathe calmly and evenly. When dropping your shoulders, you can also exhale sharply. When finished allow yourself a few seconds to feel the difference.

Expanding the chest: the „eagle"

Stand with your arms stretched out in front of you, palms together. The soles of your feet are relaxed on the floor. You are fully erect, as if you are being pulled upwards by an invisible thread at the crown of your head. Inhaling open your arms to the side, like an eagle spreading its wings. Perhaps you can lift your heels slightly and stand on your tiptoes. Feel your chest widen. As you exhale, bring your hands together again, taking care not to raise your shoulders. Lower your heels when exhaling. Repeat this exercise a few times, allowing the movement to become fluid and rocking. Enjoy the deep breathing.

Cross Movement

Stand up straight and start by feeling your feet on the floor, flat and relaxed. Then circle your outstretched right arm backwards once, keeping your arm very long and your hand relaxed. At the same time, raise your left knee as high as comfortable, ideally to pelvic level. Then immediately follows the left arm with the right knee. As the movement flows, it may become more dynamic.

This movement strengthens the connection between the two hemispheres of the brain, improves fitness and stimulates the circulation.

Pendulum

Stand up straight, your feet about shoulder-width apart and parallel, the soles of your feet flat and relaxed on the floor. The knees may be soft and do not need to be fully extended. Now begin to turn the upper body slightly to the left and right while keeping the pelvis straight. For support imagine spotlights attached to the pelvic bones, which always shine straight ahead.  The arms remain completely loose. They begin to swing slightly for the rotation of the upper body. The arms do not make any movement of their own, they remain soft “like cooked spaghetti”. You may want to close your eyes for a moment and concentrate on your breath and the movement. After a few repetitions let the movement become smaller until you are standing still again. Spend a few seconds feeling how your body feels now.

Exercise and relaxation: Sport

For some people, it can help to really “let off steam” with sports. This depends very much on the type of person. In any case, you should start slowly and preferably with an experienced trainer and do stamina training and muscle building first.

It is well known that sport in general has a positive and stress-reducing effect on body and mind. Any kind of exercise helps to reduce stress hormones in the body. The circulation gets a boost and “happy hormones” are released. Physical activity can also improve memory as well as productivity and creativity.  

Advice for beginners:

  1. Choose a type of sport that you like, that you enjoy and that makes you feel good physically and mentally.
  2. If you smoke or have high blood pressure, obesity, diabetes or joint problems, consult your doctor before exercising. Ask for help in creating or choosing an exercise programme that suits your health condition.
  3. Start slowly. Exercise at a low intensity at first, so that you sweat little and breathe calmly during exercise, still being able to carry on a conversation.
  4. You don’t have to exercise every day. Train 3-4 times a week, starting with 30 minutes, gradually increasing the exercise.
  5. To increase stamina, you need to exercise at least three times a week for 20 to 60 minutes. Running, swimming, hiking, aerobics and cycling are great for increasing stamina. If you also want to increase muscle power, add 20 minutes of muscle-strengthening exercises three times a week.
  6. If you lack motivation, don’t exercise alone! Exercises are more fun and effective in a group setting.
  7. Have a variety of exercises ready. If you cycle the same route every day, you may lose motivation. Change the exercises and length and intensity of the workout. Try a different sport when losing motivation.
  8. Make sure you are doing the movements correctly. Get the right techniques right from the start. This will prevent injuries and long-term wear and tear on your joints.
  9. Rest well after physical exertion. Tired muscles benefit from a hot bath or a full body massage. Remember to get enough sleep.

Power sports

Ideas for dynamic sports:

  • Boxing, kickboxing, karate
  • Cycling, spinning
  • Indoor sports: Climbing, trampolining
  • Diving
  • Kayaking, rowing
  • Parkour, first in the hall with a group, later you can do this sport anywhere