Muscle week

One week for greater well-being. With these tips, you can relax your muscles and enhance your joie de vivre.


Lara Brunner

Stress at work, stress at home – the pressures of modern everyday living are relentless. Achieving a personal balance is therefore key for our health and satisfaction. Our plan should motivate you to focus more consciously on your body and mind over a week. As our muscles are the key to improved well-being, each day is dedicated to a certain muscle or muscle group. Our suggestions are rounded off by tips for getting the right nutrition. After all, alongside exercise, the right nutrients are essential for the performance of our muscles.

Enjoy the moment

Healthy muscles keep the body in balance. We can find a mental balance by enjoying the moment. Those who take the time to enjoy their food and eat a balanced diet not only acquire sufficient energy for their muscles, but also relaxation for their mind. Exercise also improves our physical and mental state. It helps us to focus on the moment. We become more satisfied and exude a greater joie de vivre. Put the tips into practice either on your own or together with family and friends. Motivate one another and share your experiences.

  • When we are happy, our brain sends impulses to our risible muscles: we laugh. This also works the other way round: during laughter, our risible muscles send stimuli to our brain. This then releases the happy hormone serotonin, making us happy.
    Listen to your favourite song and turn up the volume. Don’t let yourself be distracted and instead sing and dance along. You will automatically smile.
  • If carbohydrates and proteins are favourably balanced, the brain converts tryptophan to serotonin. Serotonin is also known as the happiness hormone.

  • Get your pulse racing:
    try it with burpees!
  • Handling feelings
    ​Pay attention to how you handle your feelings during your daily routine. When do you dramatise things? When do you suppress your emotions? When do you take action? This will allow you to learn to better keep a handle on your emotions in stressful situations.
  • Omega-3 fatty acids and vitamins can have a beneficial effect on the cardiovascular system.
    • Omega-3 fatty acids: herring, salmon and trout
    • Vitamins: fruit, vegetables and wholemeal products

  • De-stress with a herbal tea ritual
    Drink a hot cup of herbal tea – sip by sip. Allow enough time for this. What do the aromas smell like? What flavours are evident on the palate? What does the hot fluid feel like in your stomach? Consciously take deep breathes during this process.
  • Your shoulders as scale
    ​Imagine that the sun is on your right shoulder and the moon on your left. Give both the same amount of space. Make sure to always maintain a balance. When we are stressed, we tend to tense one half of our body more than the other.
  • When we are stressed, it is chiefly our small neck muscles that tense up. This gives rise to headaches, among other things. Relaxation helps. Repeat these exercises three to four times for 20 to 30 seconds each.
    • Bend your head forward. Place your hands on the back of your head.
    • Press with your thumbs in the indentation next to your ears. Alternatively, you can also make circles.
    • Now move your thumbs slightly further towards your spine. Press upwards against your cranial bone.
    • Move down by two fingers’ breadth to your cervical spine. Circle lightly with your thumbs.

  • Pilates stabilises the spine, improves our balance and prevents back pain.
    • All-fours position
    • Plank
    • Backbend
  • Probiotics = for life
    Lactic acid bacteria support a healthy intestinal flora, thus strengthening the immune system. They are contained in plain yoghurt, kefir or pickled cabbage, for example.
  • Focus on your core
    ​The centre of our body is located around 4 centimetres below our belly button. It is found between the anterior abdominal wall and spine.
    • Focus on your core when your thoughts are digressing.
    • Perform all movements from the middle of your body.
    • Positive effects on your mind: calm, focus, awareness.
    • Positive effects on your body: stability, strength, balance

  • Sweet balls for lots of energy
    100 g of dates
    80 g of oats
    40 g of raisins
    30 g of nuts
    2 tsp of cocoa powder
    2 tsp of cinnamon

    → Put all ingredients in a mixer. Purée them until a type of dough emerges. If necessary, add a little water.
    → Roll the dough into balls and place in the refrigerator for an hour.

  • Walking meditation
    You can also do this meditation while working. Focus on a route that you have to cover at your workplace. Perform every step consciously. Do not allow your thoughts to digress. Experiment with your speed: at what speed can you best maintain your mindfulness? When we are stressed, walking in mindfulness helps us to find calm.

  • The Helsana Trails are ideal for jogging, hiking, walking or biking.

  • A digital time out
    Radio advertisements, TV commercials, posters, online offers: our sensory organs are now exposed to an enormous amount of stimuli. Processing all of these signals places stress on the brain. This flood of stimuli means that we lose our sense of calm. Escaping everything is impossible. With a digital time out, however, you can at least treat yourself to a moment of peace. Leave your mobile phone at home for a day, give yourself three hours without TV and your laptop after finishing work, don't turn on any screens in your bedroom or activate flight mode on your smartphone. Turn off the TV. Focus fully on yourself.
  • Blueberries contain provitamin A which our body converts to vitamin A. Vitamin A is essential for our vision.
  • Training and relaxation for your eyes
    • Close your eyes
    • Move your pupils down and up ten times
    • Move your pupils from left to right ten times
    • Circle your pupils ten times in one direction and ten times in the other

  • When we chew gum, our brain receives up to 25% more blood and oxygen. This makes us more focussed and allows us to manage stress better.

  • Plan in enough time for eating

  • Eat mindfully
    As a rule: eat slowly and consciously. Watching TV and reading a newspaper are taboo. Take a small tomato in your hand. What does it look like? How does it feel? What does it smell like? Put the tomato in your mouth but do not chew it yet. Feel the tomato with your tongue. Now chew slowly. Focus on the intensive taste. When we chew, we make the food smaller and make it more accessible to the digestive enzymes. This facilitates absorption by the body. Enzymes in saliva (amylases) break down starch in sugar, for example. That is why bread tastes sweet if we chew it for a long time.

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