Updated: Jul 29, 2020
Reinvent your workout routine to melt away stress with these must have workout accessories.
As a NASM certified personal trainer I've experimented with all sorts of exercise equipment and accessories and after years of tinkering my workouts (along with my clients) these are the five that I'd recommend adding to your repertoire if you are experiencing any symptoms of anxiety or chronic stress.
This is a must have for anyone battling tight muscles, or aches and pains from chronic stress. Use it post workout or first thing in the morning to wake up your stiff muscles. Finish with an ice bath or a hot tub soak with epson salts or a lavendar bubble bath to calm an overactive brain.
2. Full Body 36 inch Foam Roller I know what you are thinking..."foam rolling is a waste of time." I can't tell you how many clients cringe when I tell them we will spend the last 10 mins of our session foam rolling. BUT I can't stress enough the importance of it. When you are experiencing any sort of stress your body's cortisol (your stress hormone) levels are raised and it sets off an inflammation response in your body tightening up the fascia that surrounds your muscles. So that achy back, nagging shoulder pain, or crunchy neck is the result of that stress response. Obviously form rolling will not "cure" your stress (that's what I'm here for), but it will help alleviate some of the pain, loosen and lengthen your muscles, and allow you to move in a more gentle way without further aggravating the pain you are experiencing. At Sperry Wellness we spend a whole coaching session on foam rolling and I recommend that all my busy executive levels have the full body version and pack the travel version in their suitcases when flying for business. I also love Lauren Roxburgh's Aligned roller set which includes a full body and travel size. Speaking of LO Roxburgh, I'm kind of obsessed with her, have read all her books, and love everything she preaches so check out her full site!
Resistance training with bands has many benefits including increases muscle strength and tone, increases flexibility and balance, and is a gentler version of strength training vs using free weights. I highly recommend incorporating into your workout routine if you are experiencing any symptoms of anxiety, inflammation or stress. You would be surprised at how much weight you can lose by substituting a cardio day for an intense band workout. The Sperry Wellness coaching program also spends a full session covering this.
Any physical therapist or chiropractor sells these as does Amazon. And I highly recommend anyone with a long car commute to put this behind your back while you drive.....and roll away! I use mine everyday. You can also use it for a computer break on your upper back and neck while working in any sort of office environment by rolling it with your back against a wall.
For yoga enthusiasts and anyone just trying to change up their workout routine, I highly recommend having a stretch strap at home. Spending 10 mins breathing through a stretch routine can help relieve anxiety and stress, increases pliability, and is gentle on the body. This is also a very packable item and an easy activity when waking up in a hotel room and needing to squeeze in a quick workout before that big meeting.