6 Morning Stretches to Start Your Day Right
Are you the type of person who leaps out of bed when the alarm goes off, ready to start the day? We didn’t think so! It can be tough to get your body and mind moving after sleep, especially if you wake up with tight, tense muscles. So, before you think about hitting the snooze button and crawling back under the covers, you should consider making morning stretches the first part of your wake up routine. Not only will this help loosen up your muscles after sleep, but it can also help focus your mind for a positive and energy-filled day ahead.
Here are 6 simple yet effective morning stretches that can help get your day off to a great start. (As always, check with your doctor before starting this or any other stretching or exercise program.)
1. Rise & Shine: Once that alarm rings, sit up and straighten out your back. Lift your hands up above your head, lace your fingers together and reach for the sky. You should feel the muscles in your upper back and neck gently stretch as you reach upwards. Hold for 15-30 seconds, break and then repeat 2- 3 times.
2. Neck Roll: Next, give your neck more TLC by tilting your head to one side, holding that for several seconds to really feel the stretch. Next, slowly roll your head down and around to the other side, holding it there for several seconds. Move your head center, then repeat starting with the opposite side. Repeat the cycle until your neck feels nice and loose.
3.Arm Extenders: Stay seated in your bed and move one of your arms across your chest, hooking it with the other arm to pull it towards you and creating a “t” with your two arms. Hold the pose for 30 seconds to really feel the stretch in your upper arm and breathe deep. Next, grab your elbow and pull that same arm behind your head holding on to your elbow or grabbing your wrist to stretch. Hold for 30 seconds, then repeat the sequence with the other arm.
4. Seated Hip Stretch: Now, it’s time to start moving your body towards getting out of bed. Sit on the edge of your mattress with your feet hanging down and back upright. Cross one leg onto the top of the other and place your hands in fists behind you to prop yourself up. Slowly lean forward until you feel the stretch in your lower back and hip, then hold for 30 seconds while breathing deeply. Switch sides and repeat.
5. Standing Side Stretch: Stand up and spread your feet slightly wider than your hips. Stretch both arms out to the side, then lean towards one side until you feel a good stretch from the top of your hip to your armpit. Hold for 30 seconds and breathe deep. Come back to the center and repeat on the other side.
6. Quad-Flex: Grab on to something sturdy, like your dresser or a table, and then bend one knee up and grab your ankle. Feel a good stretch in your quadriceps and hold for 15-30 seconds. Breathe into the stretch to make it more comfortable. Repeat on the other side.
You can repeat any stretch sequence as many times as you like based on what feels best for you. It’s important to listen to your body and not overdo it at first. The more you stretch, the more flexible you will come over time.
Not only will this simple morning stretch routine help you slowly transition into an awakened state, but it will also help loosen your muscles and prepare your body for the day ahead. It can also help clear your mind for the focus you will need to start the day right.
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