shoulders, lungs, arms and hands

Keeping fit and healthy from head to toe – Shoulder, lungs, arms, and hands

Today’s highlighted body region contains the shoulders, lungs, arms, and hands.  Pay extra attention to this region, exercise it, and look after it! Below you find some tips and recipes. You can do these also on other days, but use this symbol as a reminder, and after all, today is the best day to do it

Exercise your shoulders and arms

To keep them toned and flexible. If you have weights at home train the biceps and shoulder area. Here is a 15-minute video you can follow,  I find the timer very convenient. Thank you Caroline Girvan for modeling the exercises. 

Breathing exercises to get rid of stress and tension

I use an exercise that I call Happy In/Grumpy Out and you can do this anywhere! These days breath work has become quite fashionable, but I started implementing this exercise when I was only 5 years old! Nobody explained to me why and how, it just felt good and I kept doing it ever since.

Take 2 really deep breaths to get warmed up. I mean really deep breaths where you hold your breath as long as you can and release all your tension with the exhale. On your in-breath breathe right into your belly and blow it out. Then hold until you need to breathe out. Then slowly breathe out, sucking your stomach in, squeezing every bit of air out. Hold and repeat.

On breath 3 imagine that you are in a beautiful area with lots of trees and flowers, maybe at the seaside. Close your eyes, picture this scene, and feel yourself taking the energy from this natural environment. Hold it in and finally slowly release. Imagine that you release all kinds of negative experiences you had with the out-breath. If you find this difficult, picture a chimney spurting out smoke or something along this line. A vision that expels anything negative. As you empty your lungs feel all of this mental negativity draining out of you. You are now ready to inhale again and take more energy from your visionary environment with the next breath. I tend to do 5-10 of these visualized breaths and once you have perfected the technique this breath visualization exercise is a really effective stress-buster. 

I use it in situations like after an irritating phone call/email or any other incident that exercises you! Retreat to a safe space and repeat these exercises a few times.  This immediately releases any built-up tension.  Even better go for a quick walk whilst doing these exercises. Don’t let negativity fester, deal with it as soon as you can and get it out of your system.

This works for minor stressful incidents. For major issues, you need to seek the help of a friend or even professional advice. But the same principle stands. Work on it as soon as you can and don’t let any negativity linger.

Breathing exercises to energize your body and mind

The following exercise is the polar opposite of ‘Happy In/Grumpy Out’.  It is meant for all those who are overwhelmed and fearful. Instead of focusing on release, we deal with energy coming in and keeping it in. Again, start with 2 warming-up breaths – see above. On breath 3  inhale in short bursts. Visualize you have a closed flower in front of you and with each extra inhale (of the same breath) you open and breathe life into another layer of this flower until it is in full bloom. Hold this image and release gently the air. Repeat a further 8-10 times.
It is best to do this exercise in the morning before getting dressed to pump yourself up for the day. It can also be helpful when you receive bad news, before an interview, or whenever you feel overwhelmed and anxious. Feel stronger and life force flows into you with every breath. Instead of a flower, you can visualize that you are getting stronger or whatever picture helps you to achieve this goal.

Why do these breathing exercises work?
Breath is a vital function in our fight-or-flight response. When we are chased by a tiger we don’t want to practice slow, calm breathing. We need shallow – get me away- breathing techniques. But once we are back in safety we need to switch back again to a calmer and more relaxed way of breathing. Most of us don’t get chased by tigers, but we get bombarded by pinging phones and unrealistic expectations. Our brains get rarely an opportunity to switch off – except when we force it by changing the way we breathe. It is a physiological reaction. Here is more about the scientific explanation and benefits of deep breathing methods. 

Manicure and beauty treatments for your hands and arms

File your nails and treat yourself to a manicure. Finish by applying lots of moisturizing hand cream and cuticle oils.

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