You’ll get a host of benefits by doing stretches every morning. Most people realize that by stretching each day, the stiffness they experience from constant sitting will wane, but there are other benefits, too. Stretching boosts flexibility, to prevent muscle injury and increases circulation. People who stretch regularly and participate in sports find their performance improves and their recover from injury is faster.
Do a stretch before you get out of bed that will help if you sit at a desk all day.
You’ll open up your spine, increase your spinal mobility and relax the front of your shoulders with a side twist called an open book stretch. Lay on your left side with left leg on the bed and right leg on top. Both knees are bent at 90 degree angles, almost as though you were sitting on an imaginary chair. Your hands should be directly in front of you, palms touching, arms outstretched and one atop the other. It’s time to open the book as you raise one hand in the air, bringing it over to lay on the bed on the opposite side, palm up. Follow your hand with your eyes, turning your head as it makes its way to the other side. Hold, return and repeat, then repeat on the other side.
It’s time to get out of bed and stretch your shoulders.
Keep rotator cuff problems at bay and improve shoulder health with a shoulder stretch. Stand up beside your bed, arms outstretched, as you lace your fingers together. Lift them straight up over your head with palms facing upward. As you push your palms toward the sky, lift your rib cage as high as you can. Hold for a few seconds is your maximum stretched position and repeat several times.
Do a runners stretch to prevent quad pain throughout the day.
If you’re constantly on the run, prepare your legs for the daily race. Do a quad stretch in the morning. Your quads are located in the front of your thighs and getting the blood flowing prepares you for a day of movement. Stand next to something you can use to stabilize yourself. Bend one knee, grasping your leg at the ankle with the hand on that side. Hold it in bent position for 20 seconds. Lower it and repeat on the other side. Do several times on each side.
- A side twist is simple, just hold your arms outstretched to the side and twist, and can be combined with a side stretch. When you do a side stretch, you hold your arms out and bend to one side, sliding your hand down the side of your leg as the other goes directly in the air.
- You don’t have to keep the twist and dip stretch for just mornings. You can do it throughout the day. Put your hands behind your head, twist your upper body toward one direction as far as you can, then to the other direction. Then twist as you drop the elbow to touch the opposite knee.
- Another morning stretch you can do throughout the day is done sitting on the edge of the bed. Put the heel of one foot on the opposite knee, then lean forward a bit. You can also press down the knee of the leg that’s raised for a great stretch.
- To get the most from stretches, breathe properly. Take deep, slow breaths to release tension. Good breathing techniques can make your stretching more revitalizing. Don’t hold your breath!
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