When the weather gets chilly, I welcome any excuse to stay in bed after the alarm goes off. But I also love to start my day checking off a task. This presented a little dilemma until I incorporated stretches specifically designed to be completed before even getting out of bed!
All it takes is 10 minutes to help you wake up, get your blood flowing, and start the day feeling great. It’s not a magic pill — not to imply it replaces your morning coffee! — but spending 10 minutes stretching before your feet touch the ground can be just what you need to start the day on the right foot.
Individuals often skip stretching even with ample evidence of the many benefits: reduced stress, increased mobility, reduced risk of injury and improved circulation.
Stretching first thing in the morning eases tension and soreness that can take hold during sleep. It can also increase blood flow and warm the body in preparation for your day.
This is a great practice to incorporate into your daily routine. Of course, there will be days when you must pop out of bed and hit the ground running, but even stretching in bed a few mornings a week can really make a difference. Because you do it first thing in the morning, there are fewer distractions to get in the way. If you start your day taking good care of yourself; good choices are sure to follow.
Kimberly Z. Miller, director of Health and Wellness and Healthy Living for the Eugene
Pro Tip: Stretching in bed at night is good too! It helps relieve the tensions of the day, relax your muscles and prepare your body for sleep.
Kimberly Z. Miller, director of Health and Wellness and Healthy Living for the Eugene Family YMCA, is a 16-year veteran of fitness programming with expertise in personal training and group exercise. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.