If you have pets, you have noticed this is the first thing they do when waking up. They extend their limbs, arch their back in order to get the blood flowing in preparation for the next thing their day holds for them. If you take 10 minutes to stretch every morning, or even less, you will begin to notice the positive impact this has on your body.
After the body being stationery for a number of hours while you sleep, wake yourself up the right way! Stretching is more than just extending your arms above your head, try these 3 simple stretching techniques to start your day off and remember to move slowly and hold each stretch for 5-10 breaths.
- Standing Forward Fold: Spread your feet hip distance apart and gently let your body fold forward allowing your knees to bend as much as you need. You can “rag-doll” up and down a few times moving slowly or just stay folded forward grabbing opposite elbows with opposite hands and rocking gently from side to side.
- Cat Stretch: Place yourself on all fours (hands & knees), with your wrists under your shoulders and your knees under your hips, as you take a big breath in let your belly drop towards the floor, low back curves, as you turn your gaze towards the sky, on your exhale tuck your chin & arch your spine towards the sky like an angry cat, allow yourself to flow through a few times taking the time to pause wherever you need.
- Side Stretch: Still on all fours (hands & knees), with wrists under shoulders and knees under hips, take a deep inhale and as you exhale turn your gaze towards your right toes, taking a couple of breaths in to the left side of your body. On your inhale come back to centre and exhale to the left, taking a few breaths here. Flow through each side a couple of times, pausing wherever you need for a couple of extra breaths.
Stretching wakes up your body and mind, increases the circulation in your body sending oxygen to your brain and blood to your muscles. A regular stretching routine brings increased flexibility, a better range of motion, stress relief and an enhancement in your overall posture.
Do you already have a morning stretch routine, if so what kind of stretches do you do?