Updated: Oct 16, 2021
Stretching is one of the most overlooked elements of good health. Many people think stretching is just a way to loosen your body's muscles before activity to prevent injury.
That's true, but there's many more benefits of stretching. And stretching in the morning introduces even more benefits to your health. Think of stretching in the morning as a proactive approach to better health.
Before you start the day, set aside 10-15 minutes for a good stretch and core exercise. This serves as a warmup for your body and mind, and will help improve your overall health and well being. Stretching is one of the key elements of a Morning Routine.
Here are the Top 5 Benefits of Stretching in the Morning
1. Wakes You Up
Stretching in the morning helps you transform your body from a sedative state to one of awareness. It stimulates your senses, gets your blood flowing, and prepares you for the day ahead.
2. Relieves Stress
Just like with yoga, your breathing is important while stretching. Take deep breaths and exhale slowly when you stretch. Focusing on breathing will calm your mind and help relieve tension in your muscles.
While you stretch, think about your day and plan it out. What are your goals? How will you accomplish them? Who do you need to help you? Thinking about your day will prepare your mind for success and reduce anxiety.
3. Reduces Aches and Pain
Your body goes through a lot of battles during the day, and at night it rests and recovers. During the rest and recovery period, your muscles and joints can tighten up. Tight muscles limit movement and can be painful.
Stretching in the morning increases circulation to your muscles. Opening up the blood flow to your muscles can reduce soreness and increase recovery time, making your day pain free.
4. Increases Flexibility and Strength
Stretching loosens our muscles, enabling us to move with a greater range of motion. Having loose muscles therefore prevents injury when forced into extreme positions. But it also increases strength.
Tight muscles cause pain when they get strained. When that happens, you can't work the muscles the way they're intended and rather are left fighting the pain. However, when the body's muscles are loose, there is no pain and the muscles can work to complete a task. Therefore, working your muscles in a greater range of motion increases strength.
5. Improves Your Posture
Many of us perform repetitive or limited motions at work each day, often at the expense of our posture. For those of us that sit at a desk all day, our chest is compressed and back expands. Similarly with our legs; our glutes compress and thigh muscles lengthen. If we don't do anything to counter those positions, the muscles rest in those positions, which can lead to posture and alignment problems.
Loosening up our back, core, and chest muscles through stretching reduces the effects of bad posture and alignment and can help those muscles recoil to their proper positions. Stretching in the morning gets the muscles loose before the onslaught of tension through the day.
In addition to your morning stretching routine, do one or two strength exercises, such as pushups or situps, to boost your endorphins and send you off into the world feeling positive.
Remember, the key to good health is good habits. You can't be healthy by doing something once, or infrequently. If you want to improve in any aspect of your life, you must commit to it every day. The commitment to good health is not hard, and it doesn't have to take much time. But it requires consistency.
For hacks on how to help you make stretching a habit, check out How To Build Healthy Habits. If you have a tip, question, or comment about stretching in the morning, please share it in the comments section or post it on our facebook page.