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5 stretches to do every morning
Stretching is an important part of a daily routine -- both for stress relief and to keep muscles and joints limber. But many people say they don’t have time for it. Here is a quick routine of five moves you can do in bed, either as an energizer when you wake up in the morning or as a way to help you relax and wind down before sleep. These stretches, recommended by a Licensed Massage Practitioner at the MultiCare MedSpa, start at your toes and move all the way to your neck, providing tension relief and increased mobility throughout your body.
The health benefits of gentle stretching are numerous. By adding a few simple stretches into your daily routine, you can alleviate stress, increase range of motion, improve circulation and flexibility, and more.
- Toe points: Lay on your back and extend your feet, pointing your toes as straight as you can. Hold for several seconds as you take a deep breath, then flex your feet, bringing your toes back toward your legs and hold. Repeat at your own speed for a great lower leg and ankle stretch.
- Knees to chest: Bend your knees and hug them to your chest as you exhale. Take a breath and bring your knees closer as you exhale for a deep hamstring stretch. This is also a great way to relieve lower back tension. Try it from the floor for even better results.
- Spinal twists: Keeping your knees bent, extend your arms away from your body to the bed. Slowly lower both knees to one side, twisting for a spine stretch. Hold for several seconds, then raise your knees and lower to the other side.
- Chest stretch: Straighten your legs, move to the edge of the bed and extend one arm off the side, allowing it to relax as you feel a stretch across your chest. As you exhale, allow your arm to drop a little lower. Repeat on the other side of the bed to stretch both sides of your chest.
- Neck relaxer: Back in the center of the bed, keep your shoulders still as you try to touch an ear to one side on an exhale. Hold for a few breaths, then bring your head back to center on an inhale. Repeat on the other side for a deep neck stretch.
Posted on Mar 4, 2013 in Healthy Living