We hope you woke up today feeling like this:
But if you're like most of us, you probably woke up feeling more like this:
Did you know that stretching is one of the best and easiest ways to wake up in the morning? Just five minutes of stretching can get blood circulating throughout your whole body--especially your brain. You’ll be more alert, more energized, and even perform better at your job if you stretch regularly.
Not convinced? 5 more reasons you should stretch every morning:
1. Stretching helps with stress. Mental and emotional stress cause your body to tense up- you contain that stress in your physical body. That’s why you might feel knots in your shoulders or an ache in your back when you’ve been stressed for several days in a row. But the connection works in reverse! Taking some time to stretch and relax your body can help relax your mind, too.
2. Stretching can lower blood sugar. That’s right, we didn’t believe it either, but this study found stretching to cause a significant effect on blood sugar in patients with type 2 diabetes.
3. Did you know you can increase your flexibility significantly, just by stretching for a few minutes every day? Flexibility can be limited by factors like genetics and joint structure, but for most people, the “I’m not flexible” excuse is just that--an excuse! Increasing flexibility improves your posture, reduces risk of injury, and increases exercise performance.
4. Stretching makes you strong. While it shouldn’t replace a normal exercise routine, stretching will maintain your strength and continue to work your muscles a little bit every morning.
5. Stretching can help you sleep better, too, by relieving cramped or tense muscles that keep you up at night. Plus, remember how stretching reduces stress? Stress reduction will help you fall asleep more quickly as well. And nothing will help you feel better in the morning than sleeping well the night before.
The best part of stretching is that it is so easy to do! Try incorporating five to ten minutes of stretching into your morning routine, and let us know in the comments section how it goes. Here are a few good exercises to start. Have a great day!