- Personal Health Information & Self-Help
Stretching In the Morning: Improve Your Health With Stretches
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.
Start With Stretches
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
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
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!