Arrow Physical Therapy & Rehabilitation reminds patients that stretching in the morning can make a big difference in their day
Depending on whether or not you’re a “morning person,” getting up from bed and starting your day could prove to be a slow and difficult process. You’re tired, you don’t want to move much, and the last thing on your mind is to squeeze in a quick workout of any sort.
If this sounds all-too-familiar to you, there’s actually an easy way to clear away those cobwebs and get your day started off on the right foot: stretching.
We all tend to stretch naturally upon waking to a certain extent based on body stiffness from the night, but taking those basic stretches a step further and spending about 10 minutes each morning to really focus on loosening up the body can lead to a number of improvements.
In addition to obvious benefits like relieving muscle tension and improving flexibility and range of motion, stretching can also help release mental tension and energize you by accelerating the release of mood-enhancing endorphins. Just a brief period of stretching will slightly raise the body’s core temperature and loosen up muscles to help them prepare for activities of the day.
Over time, stretching will also increase strength and posture by building muscle mass in the same way that strength training does. It can even help the circulatory system better deliver nutrients to muscle tissue, which will drive the body to perform more efficiently in all its activities throughout the day.
All types of stretches will be beneficial in some way, but it’s important to try to work out a few different regions of the body each day. Try a variety of stretches and see which ones work best for you, and a good rule of thumb is to hold stretches for at least 10 seconds (up to about 30) and perform at least three repetitions. Here are a few sample stretches:
- Hamstring stretch: lying on back, raise your leg, hold behind the thigh
- Butterfly: seated, bend knees, hold feet together with hands, apply downward pressure to inner-thighs
- Spinal twist: keeping back flat, arms outstretched, bend knees and twist legs and trunk to one side, then the other
- Neck/shoulder stretch: seated, slowly tilt neck to each side; roll shoulders
- Forward hang: standing, interlace fingers behind back, bend at waist, stretch hands towards your head
For many more stretches and guidance to make sure you’re doing them correctly, or for any other aches or pains, visit Arrow Physical Therapy and Rehabilitation LLC at any of our three locations in Edison, Woodbridge or Union, NJ.
Call us at 732-494-0895 for more information or to schedule an appointment.