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Relaxation Techniques to Revitalize Body and Mind

By Ray Kelly

We all get to a stage where we’ve just had it. We need a break. Well if a holiday is out of the question, try these relaxation techniques to revitalize your body and mind.

Meditation
Join a local meditation group or buy one of the many instructional CD’s on the market. Be sure to meditate in an environment which is comfortable and with minimal noise and distractions. You may find yourself falling asleep the first few times you try this but it is a great way of relaxing and also provides you with greater concentration skills.
A simple way of relaxing the mind with minimal expense or training is with a method called Progressive Muscle Relaxation. Start by lying on the floor, on your back with your hands by your side, and your eyes closed. Imagine you are at the most relaxing place you could imagine, it may include a tropical island, waterfalls, whatever you find relaxing. Whilst you are thinking about the sight, smell, and sounds of your surrounding take 20 long, deep breathes. Once you’ve reached 20 you will be ready to begin the muscle relaxation. Start at the toes by tightening (contracting) the muscles in the toes for 5 seconds then relax them. As you relax them feel the tension sink from those muscles and escape the body into the ground. Work your way slowly through the body going to the feet, calves, upper thigh, abdominals, hands, arms, chest, shoulders, neck, and then the face. Each time feeling the body sink deeper into the floor as the tension is released from your muscles. Finish with 10 more deep breathes.

Massage
Massage is a great way to promote recovery because it increases blood flow deep into the muscles, and is really relaxing! Swedish massage is generally the lightest form but some people really like a deep tissue massage. Be sure to only consult a suitably qualified and registered masseur.


Hot/Cold Showers
Never do this if you are suffering from a virus or cold or if you have a recent soft tissue injury. It involves alternating the water temperature between hot and cold for set periods.
Start by having a shower with the water at the usual temperature and clean your skin with soap. The temperature is then alternated between hot (35-38°C) for 1-2 minutes, then cold (10-16°C) for 10-30 seconds. Repeat this 3 times then finish with a shower at normal temperature. Always drink plenty of water when you get out.


Hot/Cold Spa
Guidelines are the same as for the Hot/Cold Showers but 3-4 minutes is spent in the spa and 30-60 seconds is spent in the cold bath.

Rest Days
If you exercise every other day of the week do nothing on this day. Sunday’s are great for this!


Sleep
Sleep is often what people do when they have finished everything else for that day but it must become a higher priority. A lack of sleep makes people irrational, moody, and low on energy. Try to get 7-9 hours sleep per night. To ensure a great night sleep try to avoid too much alcohol, caffeine, nicotine and high protein meals.


Cross Training
Cross Training is participating in an activity which is different to your normal training regime. Indoor rock-climbing, cycling, rowing, basketball, or in-line skating are just a few examples. The only requirement is that the intensity must be light.

Music
Just kick back, relax, and listen to any music that you enjoy. You will be surprised at how mentally refreshing this can be!

Movies
Go and watch a new movie at the cinema or hire out one of your favourites from the video store. Once again, a great way to relieve stress and relax mentally!



About the author:
Ray Kelly has helped thousand's of people achieve their weight loss goals. He is an Exercise Scientist with 15 years experience in the Health and Fitness industry. Sign up for his free 7 Day Weight Loss Course at http://www.free-online-health.com


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