Movement specialist Michelle M. Turner shares 5 simple moves to help reduce stress

February is American Heart Month and cardiovascular disease (including strokes) is the nation's No. 1 killer.

Here are 5 movements you can do to achieve a much healthier heart:

1. Relax your hands - Relaxing your hands is one of the best things that you can do for your heart!  Stress, balance and learned behaviors leave your hands in a fixed position.
2. Drop your shoulders -
Having a cell phone in our ear for hours at a time tends to rise your shoulders up and we forget to bring them back down. Carrying your shoulders around is equivalent to carrying a backpack around with us for hours.   

3. Reduce the tension in your face - Not only does this age your face but it ages your heart. The face is an obvious place to look to see how your body's doing. Taking a few minutes out of your day to notice tension and fatigue helps the rest of your body realize the same.  

4. Move with awareness - We get the kids to school, go to work, pay the bills, shop and fix dinner. The week is gone before we know it.  Take a moment to pay attention to yourself, whether driving in the car or shopping at the supermarket, notice how you are moving, breathing even thinking. Take a step back and notice yourself. Is there something that you could be doing that is better or different?

5. Work your feet - After we learn to walk and run, we do nothing to improve our most important part of our body, our feet.  Poor and unhealthy feet are a reflection of your heart. Taking a few minutes at the end of your day to work your feet (or your partners) and enhancing movement, not only helps you sleep but get around better tomorrow.

Michelle M. Turner, a certified movement specialist in Phoenix, helps people of all ages relieve stress with her gentle movement therapy, which can avoid added strain on our hearts.

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