Time to rise and shine! You’ve perfected your bedtime routine but have you given any thought to what you should do after you wake up?
Everyone has different schedules and their own definitions for what it means for them to “wake up”. Some people work overnight shifts, so they sleep during the day, whereas some people work during the day and get their sleep at night. Therefore, understand that stretching can be done whenever you “wake up” for the day, or even when you wake up from a short resting period like a nap.
Finding the motivation to get up from a good rest can be hard, but stretching can make it easier. By taking a quick 5 to 10 minutes at the start of your day to do basic stretches, you are not only waking your brain up, but your body.
During sleep, your brain and muscles are at rest. In order to fully function, you need to get blood flowing throughout your body and into your brain and stretching will help increase blood flow. Stretching first thing after waking up will encourage the body to perform better in everyday activities, including physical exercise. Plus, after lying down for a long period of time can take away any stiffness because it is elongating the muscles.
By stretching right after you wake up, you are actually helping your muscles relax. Tense muscles are what lead to poor posture. By keeping up with regular stretching, you are relaxing and lengthening your muscles which keep your back in better shape and improves your overall body posture.
In general, stretching is used to help protect your muscles from injury. After waking up, many of us tend to feel pain or discomfort that wasn’t there when we went to sleep and stretching can help relieve that pain. Back and neck pain tends to be the most common complaint. Stretching in the morning will relieve pain by reducing the tension on your spine or any other body stiffness you are experiencing.
Depending on what your daily routine consists of, be it sitting at a desk or getting in and out of a car all day, you may be negatively affecting your flexibility without realizing it. Stretching when you wake up from a long night’s sleep (similar to stretching after a long day at work) will reverse the wear and tear on your muscles, aiding in overall mobility and flexibility.
This might be the best benefit of stretching after waking up – you gain more energy and motivation! Movement stimulates the brain through increased blood flow, helping you wake up and better concentrate so you can go on to function efficiently throughout the day
There are a variety of different stretches you can complete to help wake yourself up. Ideal stretches can consist of pelvic lifts, moving your knees from side to side, planks and even yoga. When you are stretching, remember to take it slow and at a steady pace because your muscles are just waking up, so you don’t want to cause injury.
It only takes 5 to 10 minutes to complete a good stretch session after you wake up, so be sure to do it to help your body be the best it can be!