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KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Think about how many times have you said these words in the past year: “I’m stressed out.”

Americans tend to live stressful lives as it is. Add in the coronavirus pandemic, and a third of Americans reported feeling high levels of psychological distress.

April is Stress Awareness Month, and FOX4 is Working For You to help you find new ways to relieve tension and relax.

Local trainer Candice McField said stretching can be a huge factor in both physical and mental health. Both contribute to decreasing stress. Here’s how stretching helps:

  • Physical: Greater freedom of movement, improved posture, reduces risk of injury, releases muscle tension and soreness, makes working out performance better
  • Mental: Releases endorphins, reduces stress, increases relaxation, increases mental health

McField recommended four easy stretches that can make a major difference in quality of life. See how to do each of these stretches in the video player embedded in this story.

  • Mid-back rotational stretch: works your mid-to-lower back and some shoulders
  • Trapezius stretch: works your neck, shoulders and trapezoids
  • Hip flexor stretch: works your hips, lower back
  • Seated hamstring stretch: works hamstrings, lower back

Do these stretches and others for 5-10 minutes a day, and you’ll be on your way to better living!

Find more helpful tips on Candice McField’s website.