It’s been a challenging year for many due to the COVID-19 pandemic, with 78 percent of adults noting the pandemic is a significant source of stress in their lives – and stress caused by the presidential election has only made it more difficult. Election Day is officially here, and to help those in long voting lines reduce stress and keep moving. Planet Fitness’ Head of Health and Fitness Excellence Teddy Savage offers important tips when standing for extended periods:
- Remember to Breathe: By doing a couple of simple breathing techniques, you can reduce stress, lower your heart rate and blood pressure, and clear your mental palate.
- Box Breathing Exercise: Close your eyes, breathe in through your nose while counting to four, slowly. Hold your breath inside while counting slowly to four. Resist the urge to clamp your nose or mouth. Begin to exhale to that same four counts slowly. Repeat at least three times.
- Shoulder Shrugs: This simple motion increases oxygen flow to the brain by 30 percent, promoting enhanced cognitive function.
- Stretch Out: Stretching improves blood flow to your muscles and lubricates the joints for optimum range of motion. This triggers the release of serotonin or the “happy chemical” from your brain that contributes to mental wellbeing and happiness. Perform an overhead shoulder stretch, cross-body stretch, and hamstring stretch.
- Light Movement: Physical activity, even in short bursts, can have reverberating positive effects on your mental and physical wellbeing. Some exercises to keep in mind while waiting in the line include:
- Standing Crunches for good core engagement, which improves posture;
- Air Squats into Calve Raises to stimulate the lower body for a strong foundation; and
- Marching in Place to increase your heart rate for enhanced cardiorespiratory health. Repeat as many times as you desire or, for, however, many minutes as it takes to cast your vote.
Planet Fitness hosts its ‘United We Move’ digital workout series on Facebook each weekday, consisting of 20 minute (or less) live workouts that don’t require any equipment, all designed to combat stress while keeping everyone physically and mentally fit. Teddy Savage is hosting a special ‘United We Move’ workout on Tuesday, November 3, at 7 p.m. EST with exercises and tips to de-stress after voting – a much-needed activity to help ease everyone into a post-election routine.
To locate the nearest Planet Fitness club and take advantage of this offer open to all voters, please visit PlanetFitness.com/Local-Clubs.