Start the day right: 5 stretches to do in the morning

Feb 08, 2021
Taking some time to stretch each morning helps you start the day with more energy. Source: Getty.

Exercising in the morning comes with many benefits. Moving your body in the morning, not only boosts your energy levels, but it also improves focus and mental health. In fact, research has found exercise works better than coffee when it comes to boosting brain function.

Research has also shown exercise play an important role when it comes to getting a good night’s sleep. So, if you have trouble falling asleep most nights, then it may be a good idea to start incorporating some morning exercise into your daily routine.

Meanwhile, it can also reduces the risk of diabetes, helps reduce high blood pressure and improves metabolism. Exercise also releases feel-good hormones called endorphins — these hormones reduce stress, improve concentration and confidence.

If you’re not too sure where to start, the ideal morning exercises that get your body — and mind — kickstarted for the day are walking, running, cycling, swimming, Tai Chi and Pilates. And the best thing about all these exercises are, they’re fantastic for flexibility, strength and conditioning, which is important to maintain as you get older.

However there’s a variety of morning exercises you can do from the comfort of your own bed (see below).The first few moves you can do in bed, while the last three as you get out of bed. Just remember to keep breathing while doing the exercises!

1. Spinal rolls: I’d recommend starting off with 20 reps. Side to side movement improves spinal movements and get stiff segments to loosen up. Here’s a quick demonstration on how to get started.

2. The Cat Stretch: Again start off with 20 reps. This loosens up the back and improves flexibility in your spine.

3. Breast Stroke to the sky: I’d recommend starting off with 20 reps. All you have to do is stand up tall and imagine you’re swimming breast stroke upwards. This opens up the shoulder joints.

4. Crab Walk: Start off with just 30 seconds. It’s as simple as walking side-ways like a crab. This opens up the hips and improves balance.

5. Toy Soldier: Start off with just 30 seconds. This movement is basically like pretending you’re a robotic toy. This improves arm and legs movements and warms up the areas well for you.

By doing the above every day you’re warming up well and preparing the body for daily movements. It helps engage neuromuscular activation, improves flexibility, strength and your core. And while mornings are notorious for procrastination, it’s all about momentum! If you start your exercise routine first thing, there’s a good chance you won’t back out. Routine is the key for results so stick with it for a minimum of 21 days. Clinically I have found that people tend to stop after five days, don’t be one of those!

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