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If you’ve been following along, you know I’ve been posting weekly workout videos, each with their own theme, and here we are at workout #5.
For this week’s Stay Home Workout, we’re going into stress-busting mode, because I think we can agree we all need a little stress-relief right now. In this follow-along workout, we’ll be keeping it gentle with stretches and yoga poses that will leave you feeling relaxed and calm:
The whole 20 minute workout is all standing, so no going down to a mat. In the last half of the workout I teach a modified “Sun Salutations” routine. Sun Salutations is a simple routine of yoga stretches that works your whole body, and I personally have been doing it for decades. Hopefully, you can memorize the stretches and do it on your own regularly, too. Especially as we age, it’s important to keep training our flexibility. Sun Salutations is a wonderful way to do just that. Besides that, it’s such a pleasant and relaxing routine, great for our mental health, too.
Why Should I Exercise for Stress-Relief?
Being stressed sets off a chain of events in our bodies. When we feel stressed, our bodies release adrenaline, which is a hormone that will cause our breathing, heart rate, and blood pressure to temporarily increase… all part of the “fight or flight” response. When we continue to stay stressed, it takes a physical toll on us. Chronic stress can weaken our immune systems (NOT what we need right now) and cause other negative physiological responses, like raising our risk for various diseases and unwelcomed medical conditions. So basically, stress can make us sick. Exercise can actually level out our stress hormones, bringing them back down to healthier levels. It’ll also help you think clearer, feel more uplifted and energized, and give your immune system the boost it needs. All things we could use right now!
What are the Other Workouts in this Series?
If you’ve just jumped in, here’s a list of the other videos in my Stay at Home Workout series. All of them are easy-to-follow videos targeted for beginners or active seniors, and none of the workouts require you to go down to the floor:
#1: Posture Fixer-Upper Workout
#2: The Coordination-Building Workout
#3: Full-Body Resistance Bands Workout
#4: Low-Impact Cardio Aerobics
So there you go! I hope you’ll give this most recent stress-relieving stretch workout a try. Not only will you enjoy the process of DOING the workout, I promise you’ll continue your day on a happier note after you’ve done it. Comments below are always welcomed! Stay strong and healthy, all!
I am a fit 68 year old, and I kayak and row indoors during our Minnesota winters. I injured my back doing the wrong kind of yoga for me. I found your Stretching and Yoga for Seniors and Beginners class, and it has really helped me rehab my back and increase my flexibility. I feel both energized and relaxed after this 20 minute class! I love your teaching style!!! I hope you will add more yoga classes!
By the way, my husband and I have an Arctic Fox RV. If you have not done so already, I hope you will bring your RV and visit the North Shore of Lake Superior, our inland sea, and the great state of Minnesota, Land of 10,000 Lakes!
Thanks for the great classes!
Hi Sheila! Sorry to hear about your injury; exercise is such a tricky balance between pushing yourself and injury—we never know exactly that sweet spot is for each of us. I’m currently working on a strength program for active seniors that I hope to get live on YouTube in the next couple weeks; I’m calling it Younger, Stronger, and More Energized— so look for that, too! After that, I’ll definitely be due for some more stretching classes; so I’ll put that on my radar! Thanks for the shout-out, really appreciate it. Keep doing the work and stay strong! xo
Thank you for putting this together. As I get older, the aches and pains become more numerous and frequent. After a successful experience at physical therapy for my elbow, I realized that if I could get my whole body in motion, I would probably not have as many repetitive motion injuries. I’m very obese, though, and my feet hurt after just a few minutes of standing without walking (I have shoes and orthotics prescribed by a podiatrist). Is it okay to break this up in 8-10 minute portions? I worry about losing my warm-up between sessions, though.
It’s absolutely ok to bust it up yes! Just make sure the first couple minutes of any session you do… do with about half the effort you would normally do if you were already warmed up. So, you want to ease into the difficulty of it. That gives your body a chance to warm up— to get your core temp higher and your joints loosened so it’s better prepared to handle exercise. And hey— I’m so proud of you for making this life change, Kelly! Your body WILL work with you; it will adapt and adjust. The key is to BE CONSISTENT! Stick with it, a little each day. You will get there! I’ll be rooting for you! Come back sometime and let me know your progress! Stay strong! xoxo
This was a really wonderful stretch and de-stressor. Many of the poses I was unfamiliar with, so it was also a good workout for my brain. Afterward, I feel my body much more flexible and open. You do a lovely job leading, too, with your calm voice and gentle presentation.
Found your youtube while searching it for senior stretch. I’ve just this week returned to exercise after two years of nothing. I’m over 60. I’ve been doing some low-impact cardio first three days of this week and needed a break. This stretch was just what I needed and I will incorporate it into my weekly workout. Thank you.
Good for you for making fitness a priority! The great news is, even though you took a 2 year siesta from physical activity, your body will work with you, it will adapt, and it will get stronger! Just keep going, stick with it, and stay strong! xo
Hi, thank you for the refreshingly different relaxing stretch. I really enjoyed it!
Hello, and thank you for a nice, gentle way to start the day! I enjoyed your video on you tube very much and will use it in my routine of stretching. I’ve been looking for a video such as yours and yours fits the bill.Thank you.
Hi, i’ve been hunting around YouTube for a gentle stretching video and at first glance this looks like it might be a good one to start with – I have to say though that my instant reaction is that the background music is too loud and distracting and honestly unnecessary, but i’ll give the video a try but suspect i’ll be put off by the music – thanks
I’ve been doing this video every morning for 2.5 weeks. I love it. I can feel my balance, flexibility, and strength getting better. Thank you!
I just discovered your videos .. AMAZING. Please PM me, I would be interested in your PT options.
Hi Tom! Glad you like the vids! Unfortunately though I’m not taking on any new trainees at this time, sorry about that. I’ve sent some others over to “Trainiac” and I hear good feedback from it, so if you’re looking for an online trainer do check that out! http://www.trainiacfit.com Best of luck!
Got hooked on this back in late December, when the lockdown made it impossible to go to a gym. Found this on YOUTUBE, so happy with it. I’m a convert to this video; fyi, not a big yoga lover, too much bouncing.
I love your gentle stretch routine – I do it every day and have passed it on to friends. I hope you have a follow-up at some point
I’m so happy this workout has proved to be useful for you! Love that you’ve passed it on; you’re a good friend encouraging your friends to stay fit and flexible. Another similar routine is at the top of my list! xo
I absolutely love your —
Full-Body Gentle Stretch Routine for Seniors and Beginners video.
Do you have others that are very similar to this one? I really feel with this one that all of my body is being stretched as well as a workout. I’ve looked a few others of yours and they seem to have different focus.
Hi Nora! You’re right, the Gentle Stretch is very different than my others, but I’ve been meaning to do a second one. So thanks for the reminder I need to do that! I’ll try to get another one on YouTube someday soon. In the meantime, be well, and keep stretching! xo
I loved your video. You remind me of Goldie Hawn.
Wow, thank you!!! I love her! xo
I absolutely love this video Stef! You have such a gentle, calming, kind voice. This video is perfect for me. I love that you accept people where they are. On the back lunges ► I noticed when I do the right back lunge I always stiffen my left leg rather than bending it as you do. #1 Perhaps that is an indication of a balance issue? What do you think? (I had a left hip replacement 1 1/2 years ago). How important is it to bend the opposing front leg when you do the lunges?
I’m happy to hear this has been a useful video for you, Jane! As for the leg discrepancies… I’d have to see it to know for sure, but it certainly could be a balance issue – though the question is, where is that coming from. With the hip replacement relatively new, I’d suspect you’ve gotten in the habit of compensating over the years (even pre-surgery), and so even though your left hip is rock solid now, you’ve got some instability and weakness in there. Our bodies are great at finding “workarounds” when there are problems. Often we don’t even know we’re doing them. They’re great in that they keep us going even with injuries, but over time, can create weaknesses where we don’t want them. So for your last question, I’d suspect bending that front left leg is especially important for you, and I’d encourage you to focus on doing so. It will be a way for you to start retraining that hip instability, instead of allowing your body to continue to make compensations for an old injury that you no longer need compensated! Best of luck and keep exercising! xo
Hi just found this, look forward to giving it a go. In March
2020, I became first time Grandy. They live overseas. Getting fit and healthy for when i meet my GRANDSON in person. No clue when that will be.
Huge congrats on your new grandson! I can’t think of better motivation than that to get fit and healthy! xo
What a lovely video. I have been looking for a gentle, standing stretching routine for a while now, to do on my rest days. This is it! It was easy on my body, felt healing and energizing, and allowed my sore muscles/tricky lower back to lengthen and restore. The perfect balance between a stretch and a challenge. Excellent directions and pacing too. I was smiling by the end. Loved it, thank-you!
Hey, anything that makes us smile these days is gold. Glad you liked it. Stay well, Cynthia! xo
Good video – but too many ad interruptions.
Thank you for letting us know! We didn’t know what you were talking about as there shouldn’t be any ad interruptions on ANY vids on FitRV YouTube. But! After some digging learned YouTube automatically changed its default settings back on July 27th so that there are commercials on all videos longer than 8 minutes. We didn’t know! So, we’ve since checked the box to override this and there should no longer be any commercials interrupting any of our vids. Sorry for the inconvenience, but thank you so much for reporting this to us!!!
I look forward to this stretching video every morning since I found it on Youtube. I usually do not have patience for stretching, but this video is as relaxing as it is beneficial. I have much better flexibility and balance in just three weeks. I especially notice how much my chronic neck stiffness and pain has diminished. I feel so blessed to have my own personal trainer! Thank you Stefany. Blessings from Colorado.
Awww, Rebecca, this is so nice! I’m super proud of you for making this a habit each morning, what a great way to begin the day. And I’m here for you if you have questions or anything! I’ll be rooting for you; keep going! xo
I just tried the stretching workout twice and not only I can follow, but also I feel I benefit from it! Thanks for your talent in patience, clarity and sequence.
I’m so happy to hear it! Be well, Lyne! xoxo
Hi Stef! I discovered you on youtube and I just wanted to drop you a comment on how fabulous your videos are! I’ve got a whole load of lower back problems, and limited space in my tiny apartment, so these workouts are perfect for me after my morning walk. Also you have an insanely soothing voice. I hope you keep making these!
Wow, Liz, thank you for your kind words! I’ve always hated hearing my voice on these videos, lol, so I appreciate the confidence boost. Glad the videos are working for you YAYYYY! You’ve motivated me to start thinking about making more. Be well, Liz! And keep exercising! xo
I want to thank you for bringing such joy to my life through your wonderful fitness program. Your gentle guiding voice and encouragement are so appreciated. I feel so much better since working with you every day.
Is it possible for you to tell me the name of the beautiful violin music that you play in the background?
Awww, Jaci, this is so sweet! I’m so glad you’re enjoying this stretch workout, it’s a great way to move and relax at the same time. The music in this video comes from the website Soundstripe: http://www.soundstripe.com
We have a subscription so we can use their music on our videos, so all my latest videos have music from that source. I’m not sure which songs exactly I used, but I’ll try to figure it out, and when I do, I’ll come back and let you know! I think you can browse their music in the meantime without a subscription, so feel free to check them out! xo
Hi Stef. I have been doing your stretch workout for 3 weeks now. I am so happy I found your site. It has been years since I’ve done any type of stretches. These are easy and I feel great. I plan to continue.
Thank you for your videos.
I’m so happy to hear it! Glad the stretches are working for you, and I’m proud of you for taking a renewed interest in your flexibility. Keep it up, Elaine! I’ll be rooting for you! xo
Hi Stef. I’m nearly 70 years old and I have that very common lower belly fat. I will not do any type of cosmetic surgery. Do you have any suggestions on the best way to reduce this belly hang. It’s just miserable. Seems like any fat I gain goes right there. Please help.
That can be so frustrating when you gain all your weight in one area. Unfortunately, there’s no way to lose weight in one specific targeted area. When your body sheds fat, IT chooses where it’ll lose from, just like it chose where to put it on. The very BEST thing you can do is to keep moving and exercising, and monitor your caloric intake so that you’re creating a deficit… you’re burning more calories than you’re taking in. You need a deficit of 3500 calories to lose a pound, so it’s no easy task. If you’re consistent in creating that deficit, the weight will drop and eventually it’ll drop from your stomach too. Wishing you the very best! xo
I’ve been a subscriber for a couple of years and I want to thank you for this workout. As an unfit senior, I can do this! Keep up the good work. Thanks!
Hi Sally! I’m so glad you tried the workout… awesome you’re focusing on your health (both mental and physical) right now. Keep moving, Sally! I’ll be rooting for you! xo ❤️