Resting is Exercise?

I love finding ways to motivate people to add healthy food and exercise into their lives.  Most don’t mind hearing about a yummy and healthy new snack idea but that same majority almost always cringe when I bring up the subject of exercise.  Well, I’m here to tell you that there are many facets of exercise and one of them is flexibility.  That’s right, it’s great for the body to maintain a big range of motion and long, flexible muscles so that we can move through the day with physical ease.  That’s why I’m so happy to introduce you to one of my all time favorite stretches that will set you up for a wonderful day OR ease you into a peaceful evening.

It’s called a Chest Opener and here’s what you do.

Roll up a beach towel or a large bather towel so it’s about a thick 6″  diameter roll.  Place it on the floor (not the bed, you need a firm surface) and position yourself so that you’re laying on your back with the towel under your shoulder blades.  Your arms extend out to the sides, above the roll, with your palms facing up.  Your head and neck should be resting comfortably on the floor too.  Now, give yourself several deep breaths to fully relax into this position because you might feel tense at first.  

Inhale through your nose for about 4 seconds and exhale through your nose (or mouth) for 4-5 seconds.  Allow  the muscles in your back to relax on the exhales.  Each exhale should help to relax any tension you might feel in your shoulders, neck and face.  Once you’re comfortable in this position, just breath normally and bring your attention to the openness of your shoulders, your chest and your heart.  Stay for as long as you’re comfortable.

When you’re done, slip the rolled towel out from under and pull one knee at a time into your chest to relax the low back.

There it is!  An exercise completed without unsightly sweating and unwanted soreness!  We spend so much of our day hunched over that this stretch helps us balance out our rounded shoulders and shallow breathing. The benefits of opening the front of the body helps us take deeper breaths during the day (or night) and that, in turn, reduces stress.  Who knew exercise could make us say “Ahhhhh”.

Wishing you great health!

Polly Pitchford, Motivational Speaker

PEPTalks, Rediscover the Healthy You!


Motivational Speaker Polly Pitchford didn’t always know the phytochemical benefits of kale, in fact, those words weren’t even in her vocabulary 30 years ago. Neither did she see any reason to do jumping jacks on a cement surface for an hour. But all it took was a chance vegetarian cooking class and some high-energy music to open her eyes upon a whole new world of healthy living. For 30 years Polly has practiced, studied, taught, educated and lived a healthy lifestyle that makes her such a powerful speaker.

Polly’s down-to-Earth and humorous approach mirrors her own lifelong journey to lasting, positive changes. The audience walks away with tangible plans for improving their health and their lives through food, fitness and fun.
To book Motivational Speaker Polly Pitchford, call 941-685-7725 or visit her at

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  1. Great post Polly! I’m a motivational speaker who knows the value in exercise – just can’t seem to get my body to come along for the ride. But this post was great. I was relaxed just reading it. So I’m good. :)

  2. Hey Polly!
    Thanks for the post – I always love to hear how other motivational speakers stay healthy. I am doing Hot Pilates – have you heard of it? It’s like Bikram Yoga only with Pilates boot-campy vibe. It’s amazing. But, sad that some people leave the hot room before the final stretching. I think that’s the best part!

    Thanks again –

  3. I just tried this, Polly! And it works great! As as traveling motivational speakers, this is a PERFECT little exercise to do in a hotel room!


  1. […] up with – oh, say –  grapefruit!  So between the blog from Polly Pitchford about how RELAXING is actually be exercising, and the Indian dinner I’m having tonight, I should be in GREAT […]

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