Morning stretches are often promoted as a great way to start your day and kick-start your metabolism. While this may be true, it’s important to remember that your body is at its stiffest and least flexible part of your day. Going too far or stretching improperly can increase the risk of injury or pain.
Stretching is great for improving your blood circulation and nutrient absorption, it helps improve your flexibility and range of motion, and it helps flush water and toxins from your system. All of this keeps your body healthy and mobile, allowing you to fully engage in your daily activities.
People usually stretch after their workout or to relax before bed, but some people really like to start their day with spinal joints and pulled muscles. Here’s how to do it right.
Don’t go too fast
Early in the morning, your body wakes up and every muscle and joint is stiff, ready to move. If you rush through your stretching exercises, chances are you’ll pinch a nerve, pull a muscle, or risk an even more serious injury.
Take your time with each stretch and use your breath to deepen your movements. Let your inhales and exhales guide you and feel your body awakening and slowly becoming more flexible and mobile with each breath.
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Do not overdo it
Stick to simple moves that connect to each other rather than creating a sequence with 15-20 stretches stacked on top of each other. Make your moves count and feel the flow as you move naturally from one to the next.
The flow you create in your stretching routine sends energy through your body, opening up your joints, improving your blood circulation and lengthening your muscle fibers, all at the same time. Doing too many movements that aren’t even connected will confuse your body and your brain won’t be able to process the muscles you’re actually working on and trying to stretch.
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Don’t compromise your form
Even the most flexible people have trouble managing their range of motion in the morning. Just because you can touch your toes after a workout doesn’t mean you can after you wake up. It’s not a sign of failure or lack of progress, it’s just that your body is taking its time to wake up.
The more you try to force it, the greater the risk of injury. Be patient with yourself and allow your body to naturally open and stretch to its level. This will require longer holds and deeper breaths, so be gentle with your body and don’t overstep your limits.
Almost everyone has had a teacher show them the rebound stretch in physical education class. Rebounding stretches have been shown to be less effective and can even cause injuries, sprains and strains. Instead, hold the pose for at least three long breath cycles (preferably longer) and actively work on lengthening your spine and muscles with each inhale and deepening the stretch with each exhale.
Don’t stretch in a cold room
If your goal is to do morning stretches in your apartment, be sure to warm up your space beforehand. This will ensure that your body does not resist stretching and will allow external heat and heat to help create internal heat. By keeping your surroundings warm, you relax your muscles and joints and give them room to stretch, lengthen and become more mobile.
Also, if you can’t manage to warm up your space, you can try warming up your body with some active movements. Even if you don’t have time for a full workout, a series of jumping jacks, mountain climbers, and squat jumps will get your blood pumping and your muscles ready to stretch.
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Don’t focus on one area
Stretching in the morning isn’t about recovering from training, it’s about reigniting all your systems and getting you ready for the day, it’s about improving your circulation and stimulating your lymphatic system, and it’s about increasing your energy levels and getting ready. for a more focused and productive day ahead.
That’s why your morning stretching routine should include moves that tackle your whole body, from head to toes. Don’t just focus on leg stretches or backbends, create a sequence that will also stretch your neck, back, triceps, and hamstrings.
Don’t Forget Consistency
If you’re someone who truly practices what they preach and want to implement morning stretches to improve their day, you’ll need to stay consistent to see real results. Nothing can happen overnight, especially a jump in flexibility levels. Schedule morning stretches at least three to five times a week and notice that you improve and feel more comfortable after just a few weeks.
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Less is more and with the morning stretches this cannot be emphasized enough. Take your time, be patient with yourself, prioritize technique, prepare the room, avoid jerky movements and stay consistent. And then finish it off with one of these amazing smoothies and you’ll start your day off right.
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