Exercises that can be performed with a stress reliever

By: Gautam Punja

Do you return home each day from work with every muscle of your body craving for rest? Are you constantly tired of running from pillar to post ferrying your children from ballet class to baseball games, while at the same time taking care of other chores? Getting through your hectic day, despite all the activities, will be a breeze if you have a stress reliever handy. A small object such as a stress ball can give you the gift of life without you having to bend over backwards. No more sweating for hours at the gym or spending time meditating for a long life, when you have stress balls in your purse or your bag at all times. Simple exercises performed right at your work desk at regular intervals of time are all you need to do to stay energetic, smiling and healthy at all times.

Warm up exercises
Yes, using the stress ball also calls for warm up exercises. This is the simplest exercise to wake up the muscles of your hand so you do not develop aches and pains when you perform the other exercises. All you need to do is to hold the ball gently, yet firmly, in the palm of your hand and give it a slight squeeze and release it. Repeat this for at least 20 times with one hand and then switch over to the other. This simple stress reliever exercise can be performed even when you are seeing your child practice her moves in ballet class.

Exercises to strengthen the fingers
The fingers are the organs that are the most neglected when you perform exercises at the gym or do yoga at home. You can improve the strength in your fingers using the stress ball by holding it firmly in one hand and then using the fingers of the other hand to pinch the ball. Start off by first pinching the ball using the thumb and the index finger and then move to the other fingers while keeping the thumb constant. Perform at least about 10 to 15 repetitions before switching over to the other hand. Prying this stress reliever away from one hand by using the fingers of the other is another way to strengthen the muscles.

Exercises for the palm
The Chinese, during the Ming dynasty, invented the first ever stress ball which is now called the Baoding ball. These balls were made to glide across the palms of the hand, while at the same time applying slight pressure on the hand. This was a form of acupressure treatment offered by the ancient Chinese physicians to remove aches and pains. This exercise can be performed using the foam based stress reliever balls available today as well. The balls can be made to roll on a hard surface too with the palm of your hand always on it, exerting a certain amount of pressure. Holding the balls in the palm of the hand and twisting the palms like you would twist your body on the twister machine in the gym will exercise the muscles at the wrist.

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