Weekend Challenge: Progressive Relaxation - Save Our Bones

This Weekend Challenge is a bit different from previous ones. It’s called Progressive Relaxation, and it reduces levels of the bone-damaging stress hormone cortisol in your body. Isn’t it great (and bone-healthy!) to start your weekend off all relaxed and in a good mood?

Today I’m thrilled to share with you these easy-to-do relaxation exercises. And to make it even more enjoyable, I’ve included an amazing music video from one of my favorite musicians, so you can play it as you practice this Weekend Challenge.

Let’s get started!

Why: When you are in a relaxed state, it helps your bones on several levels.

First, relaxed muscles put the pressure on your skeleton to build bone in the proper areas. Supple, strong muscles keep your bones aligned and strong.

Second, relaxation is crucial for reducing stress. As Savers already know, stress harms your bones because it leads to high levels of the primary stress hormone cortisol. For your bones to flourish, cortisol levels need to be reduced.

Third, your body actually responds to relaxation and exercise by producing “feel good” hormones like endorphins, the biological opposite of cortisol. Because you receive this “feel good feedback” from your body, you’re motivated to do more relaxation exercises. It’s a very positive cycle!

How: The first step is to get comfortable. Lie on your back somewhere that you can relax without discomfort, such as your bed, a couch, or a comfortable mat. Next…

  1. Press your toes (not your whole foot) downward. Hold this tension for 5 seconds, and then release.
  2. Reverse the direction and try to pull your toes up and back. Hold for 5 seconds, and then release.
  3. Flex your ankles to push your feet downward. Hold for 5 seconds, and then release.

    (The same pattern of holding for 5 seconds and then releasing applies to the rest of the steps.)

  4. Flex your ankles the other way and pull your feet up and toward you.
  5. Tighten the muscles in your calves next.
  6. Tense up your thigh muscles.
  7. Now flex and release your buttocks.
  8. Tighten the muscles in your abdomen and pull it inward.
  9. Now use your abdominal muscles to gently push your abdomen outward.
  10. Pull your shoulders up toward your ears and tighten the muscles.
  11. Reach your arms out in front of you, stretching your fingertips toward the ceiling.
  12. Tighten your facial muscles in a “scrunched up face” (remember to apply a little facial moisturizer!) before releasing.
  13. Raise your eyebrows; hold and release.

Now lie still for a little while and let the sense of relaxation come over you like warm water or summer sunlight. Listen to your body – does an area still feel tense? Tighten the muscles in that area and hold again for 5 seconds before releasing. Feel free to continue working out the “kinks” until you feel fully relaxed.

Then lie still and continue listening to this beautiful and relaxing music:


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Comments on this article are closed.

  1. Annabelle

    Thank you so much for your inspiring information. I always look forward to your emails.

    • Vivian Goldschmidt, MA

      You’re most welcome, Annabelle!

  2. Muriel

    Sadly the “In the morning light” video was blocked on copyright grounds. However, by going direcly to Youtube, I found it and it is really relaxing. I look forward to your weekly “weekend challenge” – although this one was called “Weekend wisdom” which is so appropriate! Thank you Vivian.

  3. Abigail

    Hi Vivian, thanks so much for the lovely video, also thanks again for your beautiful spirit, and you love for everyone, and your kindness in sharing so unselfishly. You labor of love is never in vain in the Lord. You mean a lot to so many of us. God bless you and your family always. I have not as yet gotton my card problem fixed, but I know things will be better, and I will be able to get the book. I have one problem, I try eating more, and yet I am too thin. I need to put on some weight; otherwise, I am in perfect health at 74. I have been eating the healthy way for more than 18 years. I so exercise regularly, and I follow through with some of your helpful ways in exercising. Love always.

  4. Elaine

    Thank you so much for the’ progressive relaxation’…………….& the music is beautiful!!!!!!!! sooooooooooo relaxing!
    Thanx for taking care of all of us, you do it soooooo well!!!
    Elaine Langdon

    • Vivian Goldschmidt, MA

      I am so glad to hear that, Elaine!

  5. NORMA

    I have purchased Save our Bones and the Bone Appetit and the dancercise on line and there was spam and I did not get to follow the dancercise as it did not come thru…..is it possible to get it again, without purchasing it again….Norma

  6. Allison

    Her pain was caused by contracting shingles.
    She experienced significant pain and rash for a considerable period of time.
    This is why I was considering the shingles vaccine.
    She did not get the vaccine. Hope this helps you out

    • Melanie

      Thank you for all your tips. Just listened to your beautiful, peaceful music video. I feel so much calmer and relaxed.

      • Vivian Goldschmidt, MA

        That’s wonderful, Melanie. 🙂

  7. Allison

    In my previous email, I meant my friend contracted
    Shingles and was in agony for over a week. Thank you again for your help.

  8. Allison

    Is the Shingles shot safe? A friend of mine had it, and she was in agony for over a week. I appreciate any information you can give me. I had the chicken pox
    When I was a child, so I was considering getting it.

    • Diane

      I’ve been considering it too, what kind of reaction did your friend have that caused such agony for a week?

  9. Florence

    Thank You Vivian,
    I am going to bring the name of your book to a friend who has a mutual friend whose husband has cancer. She used to have a Korean restaurant and it was the best restaurant I have ever eaten at. So now that she had to close the restaurant I think she may be interested in your book as it can offer some added tips for Juliet. Maybe Helen will buy it for her or for herself. Her husband is an excellent eye surgeon and will be doing cataract surgery on me in June. That is unless I have a miracle healing before then and don’t need it.

  10. Gloria Boyd

    I’m already on your mailing list and have recently ordered recipe book etc. I certainly require recipes all set out under breakfast, lunch & dinner! Does the combination of various dishes matter each day to achieve full effect? I don’t recollect reading “Stop the bone thieves” or the Email course. I did order “Densersize”. Haven’t seen it yet.
    With thanks Vivian

  11. C. Jane

    Love, the exercises. Familiar with some already but feels great to do them! Thank you.

  12. Isabel Anaya

    Thank you for the weekend workouts.

    I love the music, its very relaxing and all your information is so helpful.

    God bless you.


  13. Ruth

    Thanks Vivian for all the help you give us. wonderful recipies e,exseriesandall other information. Ruh

  14. Ms. L. Carmel

    Greetings Vivian,

    Very Interesting Exercises. Thank You Very Much For Sharing Them With Us.

    Take Care, And Stay Well!


  15. Isabella Bland

    Thank you Vivian, I have a 7 hour flight to England and a 3 hour connecting flight to Malta in a couple of weeks and I think these exercises will be great to help me relax. I’m pretty sure I can manage most of them sitting down.

  16. bobbi

    recently I ordered the new save your bones manual, which was to include lots of other things….. when the order arrived, it was only the manual….
    is this truly what I paid for….and not the inclusion of other wonderful save your bones stuff… seems a bit unfair….
    the charge went thru amazon…. under spouses name, richard….. can you help..

    • Customer Support

      Bobbi, thanks so much for getting the Program! You probably didn’t notice that all the supplemental material is included in one book. Check it out, and you’ll see it 🙂

  17. Khin Perotti

    Thank you for all your advice that I’ve been following for a long time. You are so sensitive to our needs and may you keep on with your good work for may years to come.

  18. Claudia

    This is wonderful. I thank you for coming into my life. Without finding you,I would still be taking a dangerous drug. I am not perfect at following your program,but I am getting better at it. Thank you again!!!

  19. Becky

    Enjoy the music and your sharing of Bone Healthy exercises. Thank you !

  20. Laura Katelnikoff

    Thank you Vivian, your music is so beautiful and all your information is priceless.

  21. Jo Bowers

    Thank you so much Vivian. This video is truly beautiful and wonderful signs of God’s gift to us

  22. Carole Kirby

    I love your Weekend Workouts!
    The information you pass on to us is so important and has helped me enormously. I know I do not have to be ‘drugged up’ to help my bones and my overall health.
    I thank you.
    Carole (Bury Village, England)

    • Vivian Goldschmidt, MA

      Carole, Jo, Laura, and all my friends here at Save Our Bones – thank you so much for sharing your appreciation of the Weekend Challenges. I hope your weekend is filled with relaxation and happiness!

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