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.
- 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.
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.