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Healthy Living with a Busy Schedule
 

Progressive Muscle Relaxation

Progressive muscle relaxation (PMR) is a simple technique that can be performed at home or in the office. The most important aspect of PMR is to find a comfortable chair in a quiet place or lie down on your back on a soft surface. Try to eliminate distractions by taking the phone of the hook and closing the door to your office.

Start by making a fist with both hands and squeezing for 5 seconds. While you do this focus on what the tension in your hands feels like.

Now take a deep breath.

Exhale and let go of all the tension so that the muscles in your hands are completely relaxed.

Now tense both arms and both fists and clench tightly. Notice the tension in the muscles of the hands and forearms. Hold for 3 to 5 seconds.

Relax your hands and arms and notice the tension release in the muscles. Relax for 15 seconds before moving to the next step.

Now clench both fists and arms again and hold for 5 seconds. Let go of the tension and notice the difference between the tight feeling and the relaxed feeling. Relax for 15 seconds.

Now bend both arms and tense the biceps. Feel the tension in your arms and continue to squeeze tightly. Hold for 5 seconds.

Exhale and relax both arms and feel the difference between the tight muscles and the relaxed muscles. Relax for 15 seconds.

Repeat.

Now, straighten your legs and tighten your thighs while pick up your legs. You do not have lift the legs high, just high enough to feel the tension. Hold for 5 seconds.

Exhale and relax and feel the difference between the tense muscles and the relaxed muscles. Hold for 15 seconds.

Repeat.

Next, contract your calves and focus on the tightness. Hold for 3-5 seconds.

Exhale and relax while focusing on the difference between the tight and relaxed muscles.
Relax for 15 seconds.
Repeat.

Now clench your toes and focus on the tension in your feet. Hold for 5 seconds.

Exhale and relax the muscles in your feet while focusing on the difference between the tense muscles and the relaxed muscles. Relax for 15 seconds.

Repeat

Now tighten your abdominals (do not hold your breath) and focus on the tension in the muscles. Hold for 5 seconds.

Exhale and relax your abdominals and focus on the relaxed feeling in your core. Relax for 15 seconds.

Repeat.

Now tense the buttocks for 5 seconds and focus on the tension in these muscles.

Exhale and relax the buttocks while you focus on the tension release. Relax for 15 seconds.

Repeat.

Take a deep breath and hold it while focusing on the tension in your chest.

Exhale and relax while you feel the tension leave your body. Relax for 15 seconds.

Shrug your shoulders up toward your ears and hold. Feel the tension in your shoulders and neck. Hold for 5 seconds.

Exhale and relax your shoulders while you focus on the tension release. Relax for 15 seconds.

Repeat.

You can also practice the same technique with muscles in the face and neck if you feel tension in these areas.


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