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5 Moves for Instant Energy

5 Moves for Instant Energy

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When a long stressful day has you longing for a nap, try these moves for a quick pick-me-up. They work by pairing the all-natural, energy-boosting effect of movement with deep breathing (when we’re tired, our breathing often becomes shallow, which can contribute to feelings of fatigue). Do each move individually throughout your day as needed, or perform them in sequence on days when you’re really flagging. Quicker and cheaper than a coffee run!

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Photo: Getty Images

Chest-Opening Hug

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A Stand with feet hip-width part, knees slightly bent. Extend arms out to sides with palms facing forward. Inhale deeply through nose and look up, expanding wide across chest and opening arms as wide as possible.

B Exhale out through mouth while wrapping arms around chest, fingertips hugging upper back, spine rounded, and chin dropped in toward chest. Repeat 10 times, alternating the arm that wraps on top each rep.

Photo: Vanessa Rogers Photography

Reaching March

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Stand with feet hip-width apart, knees slightly bent, and arms by sides. Inhale deeply through nose while lifting right knee up in line with hip, extending left arm by ear, and leaning to the right. Return to starting position, exhaling through mouth. Repeat ten times, alternating sides each rep.

Photo: Vanessa Rogers Photography

Figure-8 Flow

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A Stand with feet wider than hip-width apart, knees slightly bent, and arms extended down and across body to the left.

B Swing arms up and to the right while rotating left hip forward and lifting left heel, tracing a circle with arms toward the wall behind you. Immediately repeat to opposite side, swinging arms through a large figure-8 pattern in a natural rhythm, breathing deeply. Repeat ten times.

Photo: Vanessa Rogers Photography

Sliding Plie Scoop

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A Stand with heels pressed together and toes turned out 45 degrees. Inhale and reach arms overhead with palms facing in, lifting chest and heels and extending spine slightly.

B Take a wide step out to the left, landing with feet wider than hips. Exhale through mouth and lower into a deep plie, bending knees out over toes while rounding spine forward and reaching fingertips toward the floor. Slide left heel back into right and return to starting position. Repeat ten times, alternating sides each rep.

Photo: Vanessa Rogers Photography

Twisted Chair

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A Stand with feet hip-width apart and arms by sides. Inhale deeply though nose and sweep arms out and up, pressing palms together overhead and gazing up at hands.

B Exhale through mouth while bending knees deeply, sitting hips back into chair pose. Bring right elbow to outside of left thigh, twisting torso to the left, pressing palms together, and looking up over left shoulder. Repeat ten times, alternating sides each rep.

Photo: Vanessa Rogers Photography

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