Stressed by silly season? Do these 5 easy moves. - Juice Daily
Jill Healy-Quintard

Stressed by silly season? Do these 5 easy moves.

The silly season is upon us which means more alcohol, more late nights, more deadlines, more crap food and generally more stress – financial, relationship AND family. Jill Healy-Quintard from Body and Balance, explains that if you do these five easy moves daily – some as often as you can throughout the day, they will help your body through the busy period.

“All can be done to help aid emotional as well as physical stress that generally does occur at this time of year due to so many more tasks and deadlines, as well as an abundance of parties, food, alcohol and general indulgence,” says Healy-Quintard. “It is also the time of year when perhaps exercise is forgotten, but these quite simple and not too stressful exercises will help keep what often turns to guilt at bay, while helping cope with what can also become stressful situations.”


  • Workout with Jill for free on Bodypass

1. Spine twist

Sitting on a chair, at your desk, on the floor cross legged or even standing. Inhale deeply through your nose and on an exhale turn your upper body first to the right either with arms extended or one hand on your knee then repeat to the other side inhaling deeply and exhaling long.

This rotates and lengthens the spine and aids detoxification by gently massaging the internal organs, liver on one side and spleen on the other. Inhaling helps lengthen the spine and exhaling helps rotation. This is particularly beneficial when we overindulge in food and alcohol at this time of the year. My clients often tell me amusingly that they twist on their bar stool or twist deliberately while standing with a drink in their hand at a bar, club or party! At least they know about this and even jokingly is a good tip if you know you are in for a big day/night. These poses can be done whenever the opportunity is available but particularly if someone has been sitting in the same position for a very long time. I recommend a sitting spine twist every 30 minutes or so if sitting at a desk or on a long haul flight for all of the above reasons.




2. Side bend or lateral stretch

Standing tall inhale deeply and on the exhale slide your right hand down your side and your left arm over your head and stretch laterally. This again will massage internal organs while balancing the body and stretching and opening the rib cage while taking more oxygen into your lung capacity.

This stretch mobilises the spine on the lateral plane. It lengthens the spine on the inhale and the exhale aids the mobilisation which is done when reaching over and sliding the bottom arm out, allowing the top arm to reach over the head , not across the face. This can also be done sitting or standing and is beneficial for people sitting in the same position for a long time. It is as though you are putting some space between each rib as the stretch is done on each side. This also promotes better oxygen intake and is great to re-energise after sitting or standing for a long time. Anyone should do this unless there are spinal or shoulder injuries that impair movement and can be done at any time of the day, but especially after long periods of sitting.




  • Workout with Jill for free on Bodypass

3. Cat stretch

On all fours bring your body to a neutral spine or natural arch of the back with hands under shoulders and shoulder distance apart. Legs are hip distance apart. Inhale deeply and arch your back, head towards chest and tail bone tucked under, then exhale and reverse the movement. Repeat at least 3 times for maximum benefit.

It is the most wonderful stretch to release back muscles and promote spinal awareness. Again think of what a cat does after eating or sleeping … stretch their spine. Again this pose can be done after long periods of sitting and can also be done at a desk by pushing the chair away and doing a standing cat stretch using a desk as the base, arching and stretching the spine.

Apart from spinal awareness this pose also strengthens the wrists and shoulders while massaging digestive organs and improving digestion. When done on all fours, it aids postural stability, strengthens core muscles against gravity and is excellent for anyone having difficulty being able to do sit ups, roll ups and traditional core strengthening exercises such as crunches. It also improves blood circulation. This can be done any time of day that suits the individual and again after long periods of standing and sitting and if indulging in alcohol and foods that may upset digestion this exercise will aid in elimination too.




4. Lying Twists

At this time of year any twisting exercise will aid digestion, detoxification and elimination but this one is also very relaxing after a stressful day or evening. This will help general aches and pains in the lower back and hips after a day of playing sport or a night of clubbing. Adding a left/right brain balancing component by turning the head the opposite way the legs are going will help balance mind and body.

This exercise requires lying on your back, so you need to find a suitable location and a mat or rug. Bring knees to chest and inhale and take both arms outstretched away from the shoulders, exhale and lower both knees to the right side of the body while turning the head to the left and looking along the arm. Inhale return the knees and repeat on the exhale to the other side.

This can be done in a suitable location and is very beneficial to de-stress and balance the body, while relaxing the mind after celebrations and big events like Christmas and New Year. It is suitable to most unless there are spinal or shoulder injuries.




5. Savasana

Relaxation Pose. Lying in Savasana restores the body, the senses and the mind. It aids relaxation and a feeling of tranquility and state of wellbeing. Breath is very important and will help slow the body down. One exercise that helps relaxation, while lying in Savasana, is to inhale and exhale through the nose and feel the cool air entering the nostrils and warm air leaving. This will create a feeling of calm and tranquility. Another to calm the body and mind is to count the length of the inhale and the length of the exhale and if one is longer than the other to make both the same length and then add another count. This will really slow the breathing down which will bring anyone doing this to a state of calm.

If a pregnant woman of more than 22 weeks would like to do this it is best done on the side. Anyone with a bad back may need to either sit in a chair or lie with a bolster under the knees or bend both knees. It is suitable for anyone needing to calm and relax and can be done in a safe and comfortable area on a mat, rug or even a bed for at least 10-15 minutes. Taking a positive thought or intention into the mind and saying it and seeing it with the ‘mind’s eye’ during this relaxation can also help.




  • Workout with Jill for free on Bodypass
Jill Healy-Quintard

About the person who wrote this

Jill Healy-Quintard

Jill Healy-Quintard runs Body and Balance Fitness and Wellness in pilates, yoga/pilates fusion, bodybarre pilates, yoga nidra, groove and more in Manly and Manly Vale and teaches a variety of classes as well as studio one on one to increase aerobic capacity, balance muscles and strengthen core as well as achieving a balance between body and mind with her unique programs including meditation practice.

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