It's not always simple to get yourself up and moving in the morning. And in recent times, because of the coronavirus pandemic, many of us are forced to stay indoors. You may wake up feeling lethargic, hurting, and tense on some days, possibly as a result of being less physically active during the day or working on a laptop for long durations of time.
Have you ever considered stretching as an effective approach to start your day? Stretching, combined with other forms of regular exercise, may help you relax, increase your flexibility, reduce lower back discomfort, and manage various other health concerns, according to some research.
So start your day off correctly by stretching your key muscle groups for a few minutes each morning. The following routine will take you through 10 basic stretches. They start with you lying in bed and end with your feet firmly planted on the floor, so you're ready to face the day.
Hold each stretch for 15-20 seconds and repeat two to three times, particularly if your muscles and joints are sore.
While You’re In Bed
1. Cobra Stretch
Raise your head and chest softly while keeping your hips and groin on the bed by tucking your elbows in by your sides.
You can go a little deeper if it feels comfortable by elevating your tummy off the bed as well. Keep your neck and shoulders relaxed.
Hold the stretch for 15-20 seconds before slowly lowering yourself back down.
Bring one knee to your chest while lying flat on your back, and holding it in place with your arms or hands.
You should feel a pleasant stretch in your lower back.
You can also practise this stretch by bending both knees at the same time if it seems more comfortable.
3. Spinal Twist
Raise one of your knees and gently roll it over to the opposite side while lying on your back. At all times, make sure both of your shoulders are in touch with the bed.
Stretch one arm out to the side, keeping it in line with your shoulders, and slowly tilt your head to face your outstretched arm if it seems comfortable.
The stretch should be felt on the sides of your upper torso and your lower back.
Deeply inhale and exhale and repeat on the other side.
While You’re Sitting
After you feel a little more awake, you can sit on the edge of the bed for the next set of stretches
4. Upper Back Stretches
Sit on the edge of your bed and place your feet flat on the floor.
Reach forward, interlocking your fingers and bending from your midsection back.
Stretch forward with your hands at shoulder level.
You should feel a stretch between your shoulder blades.
5. Neck Stretches
Relax your shoulders and, with the support of your left arm, gently slide your left ear towards your left shoulder.
Stretch only as far as you are comfortable.
Hold for 15-20 seconds before progressively switching sides.
6. Shoulder Stretches
Reach one arm across your body and gently use your other arm to deepen the stretch while relaxing your shoulder blades back and down.
Hold for 15-20 seconds before switching sides.
While You’re Standing
The last part of the routine can be done standing up, as by now you should feel more awake.
7. Side Stretches
Standing with your feet hip-width apart and your hands clasped above your head is a good way to start.
Lean your body to one side, experiencing a deep stretch along your side.
Hold for 10-15 seconds before switching sides.
8. Quad Stretches
If necessary, take support from the wall or a chair to help you stand up straight.
Maintain a hip-width distance between your feet.
With your left hand, reach back and grab your left foot.
Maintain a straight line between your thighs and your hip with your left leg.
Feel the stretch in your hips and left thigh.
Now, try the process with your right leg.
9. Hamstring Stretches
Stand tall and slowly bend one knee, as if you were about to sit down.
Place the opposing leg straight out in front of you, toes pointed to the ceiling.
To experience a great stretch along the back of your outstretched leg, bend forward from your hips.
Hold for 10-15 seconds before switching to the other leg.
10. Calf Stretches
Step back on one leg and slowly push your heel towards the ground, experiencing an easing stretch along the back of your calf, with your hands on a wall for support.
Repeat on the opposite leg for another 10-15 seconds.
A Few Things To Keep In Mind
It's critical to pay attention to your body each day and go at your own pace when stretching. Don't get discouraged if you're not particularly flexible at first. Your body should get more relaxed with consistent exercise, and you should be able to reach that little bit further each day.
However, just stretch to a point where you are comfortable and not in discomfort. If you experience any sharp or shooting pain, stop immediately. If you have an injury, talk to your doctor or physiotherapist about a stretching routine that is specifically suited to your needs.