Everyone knows that scientific research can be a stressful time, and for young researchers such as ourselves, it is important not to get burned out when your are working on a research project. If you’ve never used a stress ball before, chances are that you’re completely unaware of its existence. The stress ball was originally developed as a therapeutic device for physical therapy and is used today by therapists everywhere to help patients regain strength and mobility following surgery or other injuries. In fact, there are even stress balls that are available for seniors, as they are often used to bolster resistance strength and stamina and prevent further injuries from occurring. While these balls can be used by anyone, there are several things you should know before you start using them in your everyday life.
What Are Stress Balls?
Stress balls are basically just an elongated rubber ball with a handle. They have a multitude of uses and serve many different purposes. You can use them to work on your stabilizer muscles, stretching muscles and your wrist area. A stress ball or wrist exercise ball is basically a malleable rubber toy, typically not longer than 7 inches in diameter, that’s squeezed gently by the hands and squeezed by the fingers, essentially to relieve stress in the wrist area or to work on the muscles in the arm.
How Do They Work?
As you squeeze a stress ball with your fingers, you’ll begin to feel the tension built up in the area between the finger and the ball. As you continue to squeeze, you’ll also feel the tension build in the muscles around the wrist. This is called resistive tension, and while this tension can be uncomfortable when you first begin squeezing, it will eventually wear off and you’ll find yourself with very little stress. Resistive tension is what makes exercising easier as well as helping you maintain proper form as you exercise.
There are two primary nerve groups that are directly attached to the wrist area and these are the forearm nerves and the medial epicondyle nerve. The forearm nerves are attached to the tendons that wrap around the wrist. The epicondyle nerve runs behind the thumb and goes down the inside of the palm. These two nerves combine with other nerves to form the largest cluster of nerves in the human body, which are scattered all over the body. When these nerves are tense and stressed, they are sending out waves of electrical signals that travel through the entire body, and the stress balls will help you relax these nerves while you exercise.
Another benefit of stress balls is that they help to reduce muscle tension, which can make exercise more enjoyable. During exercising, it can be easy to lose our focus on our body and not realize what we’re doing. It can be difficult to realize when you’ve worked out enough or when you need to rest. A stress ball can help you focus during these times, because the squeezing motion can also help release tension and stress.
One of the biggest benefits of stress balls is that they can’t be overdone. They can be a fun way to relieve stress, but they cannot be used every day. If you want to find relief from stress every day, you need something else. Find a product that offers a full system, such as a relaxation ball, or a daily massage. Or simply take advantage of the simple benefits of a stress ball by squeezing yourself as much as possible during the day. Either way, these small ball stress relievers can be a great addition to your routine.