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Stretching In the Morning: Improve Your Health With Stretches

Updated on August 10, 2012

The Morning

You can start your day off right; yes, you do have a choice as to how you start your day. When you stretch in the morning, you actively improve your mental and physical health. The exercises only take a few minutes but they can really enhance the quality of the rest of your day.

You're awake. Next step is to do stretches!
You're awake. Next step is to do stretches! | Source

Start With Stretches

Stretch your way to a great day!
Stretch your way to a great day! | Source

Why Stretch In The Morning?

When you lay sleeping, your muscles can tighten or become stiff. The blood flow to your brain decreases in stages three and four of the sleep cycle, which means that the blood supply available to your muscles increases.

Your muscles are in the process of healing and growth. Your muscle activity slows down as you are not moving; you are in rest mode.

When you wake up in the morning, your body often stretches naturally. There are great reasons to take a few extra minutes to go beyond this stretch and do a few more!

Health benefits include:

  • Increase blood flow to your muscles and your brain. Your physical and mental energy likely increase as a result. What a great way to start the day!
  • You are less likely to feel sluggish in the morning.
  • You work at improving your flexibility. With regular stretches, you increase your athletic level.
  • You prepare your muscles for use during the day. You help prevent cramps and reduce injury to muscles and joints later in the day.

These are great mental and physical reasons to do stretches in the morning! Now that you are excited, what are some recommended stretches?

Types of Morning Stretches

One of the great things about stretches is that they can be done by people of various fitness levels. Also, there is not any equipment required; just you and your body.

Good Morning Stretch

Good morning, rise and shine!

Here is a great stretch to try in the morning; it is titled the Good Morning Stretch:

  • Stand beside the bed with your legs apart to the width of your hips.
  • Thread fingers together and extend straight out in front of you, palms toward you.
  • Inhale as you raise your hands up straight above your head, with palms facing toward the ceiling.
  • Exhale while you slowly reach both arms over to your left side. Continue to exhale as you reach to the left and press through the heel of your right hand as you press down the heel of your right foot.
  • Inhale as you come back to the center.
  • Repeat on your right side.
  • Repeat the stretch for each side five times.

Good Morning Stretch

Inhale as you reach both arms to the right side.
Inhale as you reach both arms to the right side. | Source

Got a Hunch Stretch

I call the next stretch Got a Hunch, as your back curves like the Hunchback of Notre Dame when you complete the movement. Don't worry, it is fun!

Here is the morning stretching exercise:

  • Sit on the edge of the bed with your feet flat on the floor.
  • Bend forward, reaching your hands toward your feet.
  • Arch your back as you reach forward. Hold for ten seconds.
  • Repeat five times.

This movement is an easy way to stretch your arms and strengthen your back.

Neck and Shoulder Stretch

Take time for yourself with neck and shoulder stretches.
Take time for yourself with neck and shoulder stretches. | Source

Neck and Shoulder Stretches

The third morning stretch is a great way to relieve any tension or soreness in your neck and shoulders that may have occurred overnight.

Here are the steps for the Neck and Shoulder Stretch:

  • Sit up on the bed or on a chair.
  • Turn your left ear over to your left shoulder.
  • Hold for 20 seconds.
  • Repeat for the right side.
  • Relax for a minute and then roll your shoulders back.
  • Roll your shoulders forward.
  • Roll your shoulders right up to your ears and tense them.
  • Drop your shoulders completely.
  • Repeat all steps three times.

Be gentle as you do these stretches; given the heaviness of your head, you do not want to pull any muscles.

Conclusions: Stretching In the Morning

Morning stretches do not require a lot of time, yet they have many health benefits. Take the time to care for your body and mind before your day gets into busy mode. When you take time for yourself, you energize your spirit.

Be healthy and remember to smile!

Good Morning! Stretch, Energize And... YouTube

Stretches and You

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    • ChitrangadaSharan profile image

      Chitrangada Sharan 

      24 months ago from New Delhi, India

      I completely agree with you that morning stretches are very important. I do it everyday and it definitely helps me a lot.

      Thanks for sharing this useful hub and the motivation!

    • ChristyWrites profile imageAUTHOR

      Christy Birmingham 

      6 years ago from British Columbia, Canada

      @Nell, glad to hear you already use many of these techniques. The ballet moves sound interesting! I stretch every morning and barely think about it because it is such a habit now. Stay healthy and smiling :)

    • Nell Rose profile image

      Nell Rose 

      6 years ago from England

      This is such a good idea, and one that I always do, well not so much the stretches, but I do these and also other exercises the second I get out of bed. I always do the shoulder ones because they are the things that feel stiff as well as my back, so I incorporate ballet exercises in with them, rated up! great stuff! cheers nell

    • ChristyWrites profile imageAUTHOR

      Christy Birmingham 

      6 years ago from British Columbia, Canada

      @Janine, great to have the feedback from you that your chiropractor is on board too. Do go slowly so you don't strain your body. I find that stretching is now a habit because I do it so regularly in the mornings. Thanks for the vote and share; let me know how you feel, it would be nice to touch base!

    • Janine Huldie profile image

      Janine Huldie 

      6 years ago from New York, New York

      You are so right about the morning stretches. I have a bad lower back from my second pregnancy, where I developed sciatica and still go to a chiropractor weekly. My chiropractor swears by stretching in the morning too, because just as you said your muscle do stiffen and tighten while you sleep. Thanks for adding some stretches and pictures and will be trying these out. Voted up and sharing too.

    • ChristyWrites profile imageAUTHOR

      Christy Birmingham 

      6 years ago from British Columbia, Canada

      @OrchidB, thank-you. Stay healthy.

    • profile image

      OrchidB 

      6 years ago

      I need to stretch more. Great hub!

    • ChristyWrites profile imageAUTHOR

      Christy Birmingham 

      6 years ago from British Columbia, Canada

      @KDuBarry, Yes stretching is a great way to start your day! Let me know how it goes! Thanks for stopping by to read.

    • ChristyWrites profile imageAUTHOR

      Christy Birmingham 

      6 years ago from British Columbia, Canada

      @Sunshine, thanks for sharing the hub. I should have known you stretch regularly as you are very upbeat and happy :)

      @John, You are so right. Keep healthy! Thank-you.

      @Marc, Keep up the stretches my friend. Thanks for your comments and support!

      @Vinaya, I'm pleased you find the hub to be helpful. Thanks for taking time to read and comment.

      @Patti, Yes there is not a specific time in the morning. Within the first hour of rising would likely bring you the most benefits. Thanks for the comment my friend.

      @Teaches, Hehe did you like the video? Thanks for the vote and continuing to support my writing. Take care!

      @Rajan, You are quite right in your points here. You sound like you are on a healthy path and positive in spirit. I appreciate your compliments as I find your hubs so useful and well-presented. Thank-you.

    • profile image

      KDuBarry03 

      6 years ago

      I had no idea stretching in the morning was THIS beneficial! I will definitely be starting these tomorrow when I wake up! Thank you for sharing these heads ups!

    • ChristyWrites profile imageAUTHOR

      Christy Birmingham 

      6 years ago from British Columbia, Canada

      @Kenny, Yes the stretch happens when you first wake up. The extended time spent stretching can be very healthy and productive. Thanks for the comment.

      @Rebecca, I'm glad you have enjoyed success and are healthy now. Thanks for the comment!

      @Gina, How wonderful that you are embarking on the healthy improvements with your daughter. Thanks for the compliments and glad this hub is helpful for you both.

      @Bill, hehe you are funny. You are not forced to do so but it is good for your health :)

      @MsLoften, What a great compliment, thank-you.

    • Sunshine625 profile image

      Linda Bilyeu 

      6 years ago from Orlando, FL

      I love stretching in the morning and throughout the day. It feels good and it also gives me more pep to keep on going. My body appreciates it! Great hub!!:)

    • John Sarkis profile image

      John Sarkis 

      6 years ago from Los Angeles, CA

      What a great write Christy. I love working out in the mornings as well. I find it gives you a great outlook for the rest of the day.

      Voted up and useful

      John

    • Marc Babineau profile image

      Marc Babineau 

      6 years ago from Cornwall, Ontario, The Seaway City

      I need to stretch as i have major spinal issues, and lying down for a few hours causes the back muscles to get tight. Without the morning stretches i would be confined to bed for the day!

      Great post, lots of wonderful suggestions!

    • Vinaya Ghimire profile image

      Vinaya Ghimire 

      6 years ago from Nepal

      Few minutes of stretching has wonderful health benefits.

      Your tips are useful.

    • Patti Riggs Hale profile image

      Patti Riggs Hale 

      6 years ago from Burdette, Arkansas

      Good information and definitely something I need to try to do but nothing comes easy to me in the morning, lol, particularly physical exercise. Maybe I could try these about tenish?

    • teaches12345 profile image

      Dianna Mendez 

      6 years ago

      Maybe after a few stretches I could tap dance like those on the video at breakfast! This is hub motivates you to begin the day right, stretch for health and positive attitude. Thanks for sharing. Voted up!

    • rajan jolly profile image

      Rajan Singh Jolly 

      6 years ago from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar,INDIA.

      Christy, these stretches come so naturally to all the animals and birds on waking up. It's a pity we have forgotten it. It definitely is a great way to kick start a day as it makes the body ready for the days' grind ahead.

      Yoga has in fact many asanas based on the postures of the animals and birds like mayur asana (peacock pose), simh asana (lion pose) and gomukh asana (cow pose) to name a few.

      This is an excellent hub and you have explained it beautifully. My personal experience is that 10 minutes of early morning stretching prevents muscle pulls and strains during the day.

      Voted up and all the way across except the funny one.

    • kennynext profile image

      kennynext 

      6 years ago from Everywhere

      A great stretch comes naturally and will heal your body and mind. At any age, it is one of the easiest things you can do.

    • rebeccamealey profile image

      Rebecca Mealey 

      6 years ago from Northeastern Georgia, USA

      Thanks for defining stretching! I will do it more, I had some heel pain awhile back, and stretching my calves really saved me!

    • GinaCPocan profile image

      GinaCPocan 

      6 years ago from Chicago

      Thanks Christy, this was written well. I'm going to show this to my daughter. Me and her are trying to improve our health. This is a great beginning.

    • billybuc profile image

      Bill Holland 

      6 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Oh Christy, do I have to??? I'm sixty-three and I'm tired of being in good shape!!! Let me be lazy like an old man...please!!!!

      Good hub! I know I need to do more of this. Maybe I'll start soon and I'll have you to thank for it. :)

    • MsLofton profile image

      MsLofton 

      6 years ago from IL

      I like this, it inspired me to stretch more. very informative.

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