Why Stretch In The Morning?
The American Council On Exercise suggests every person, regardless of physical ability, stretch when he or she wakes up in the morning. One of the main reasons is to eliminate aches and pains.
While an achy body can occur at any time through the day, it’s most pronounced after your body has been at rest for an extended period of time.
There’s an increase of fluids in your joints and spinal discs as you lie horizontally during the night, but gentle stretches done first thing gets this fluid moving and alleviates stiffness.
In addition to the relief of aches and pains, morning stretching helps to improve posture, increase blood flow, and support greater energy throughout the day.
The Best Energizing A.M. Stretches
There are a variety of simple stretches you can perform to experience the benefits listed above. Here, we’ll discuss five of our favorites.
1. Easy Seated Stretch
In this move, sit comfortably with your legs crossed in front of you. Place your hands on your thighs, close your eyes, and take a deep breath. Continue this way with a nice, steady breathing pace for as long as you choose.
2. Soothing Seated Forward Bend
For this stretch, remain in the position described above. Bend forward with your head down, walking your hands out until your feel the stretch. Don’t force yourself all the way down if it isn’t comfortable. Do this move each day and you'll get there.
3. Stretchy Seated Back Arch
In the same seated position, place your hands behind you on the ground and press your fingertips down. Inhale and lift your body up until your bottom no longer touches the ground and you are resting on your knees and shins. Slowly lower yourself back down as you exhale.
4. Cow and Cat Stretch
Get on your hands and knees for this move. Drop your belly to the ground and look up as you inhale (this is the cow portion of the move). Then exhale, round your back, and lower your stomach into the cat position.
5. Downward Dog
Stand with your feet apart and bend forward at the waist, creating an inverted “V” shape. Take a deep breath, tuck your toes, and lift your hips. Allow your head, neck, and shoulders to relax, staying in this position for five deep breaths.
To make the most of your morning stretches, have an expert show you the moves. Give Amarillo personal trainer Ralph Roberts a call to get started.