Are you someone who starts your morning by hitting snooze and then staying in bed until your alarm goes off again? If you do, you’re not alone. A poll found that it takes Americans an average of 24 minutes to actually start their day – after two alarms and hitting snooze twice, of course.
If that’s what makes you happy, by all means, stick with that morning routine. But if you constantly feel like you’re playing catch up all day long because you snoozed for an extra 20 minutes in the AM, it might be time for you to create a new consistent morning routine.
A morning routine helps us set the tone for the day, allowing us to better control our schedules rather than our schedules controlling us. By having a good morning routine in place, we can begin our day with confidence, peace, and a positive attitude. And our morning routine doesn’t always have to be about what we add to it. In fact, our morning routine may benefit from us not doing certain things like staying in bed for 30 minutes scrolling through social media apps, playing games on our phone, or checking and responding to work e-mails as soon as we wake up.
By using the time that we normally check our phone in bed each morning to stretch instead, we can relieve tension or pain from sleeping the night before. Stretching first thing in the morning also helps increase our blood flow, can energize us, and make a big difference in how both our body and mind start the day.
And for any of you out there who are still on the fence and need yet another reason to stretch in the morning, what if we told you that you don’t even need to leave your bed to stretch? That’s right, you can stretch and work to increase your flexibility all from the comfort of your own bed. So, here are seven stretches that you can do in bed to kick start your morning and set yourself up for a productive day.
7 Simple Morning Stretches From The Comfort Of Your Bed
You should always warm your muscles up before you stretch. But since you’ve been in bed all night long, your muscles are already on the warmer side. So, all you need to do to prepare for these gentle stretches in bed is a few minutes of flexing your joints before you stretch.
Full-Body Stretch: Not only does the full-body stretch release tightness throughout our entire body, it might also be the easiest possible exercise to do. While lying flat in bed, extend your arms above your head with your shoulder blades on your mattress. Stretch your body completely from your fingertips down to the tips of your toes. Take four or five deep breaths while holding this stretch and then repeat it three times.
Deep Lower Back Bed Stretch: Back pain is one of the most common reasons for missed work. In fact, 1 in 2 of all working Americans admit to having back pain symptoms each year. This Deep Lower Back Bed Stretch is one of the best stretches that you can do for your lower back first thing in the morning. While lying flat on your back in bed, grab a pillow and place it under your lower back so that your low back is elevated. Then bring your knees gently into your chest and cross your ankles. After holding this stretch for a minute or two, you can move your hands naturally to your feet and start bringing your feet up toward your face to get an even deeper stretch. The give in your bed and the elevation in your low back from the pillow will allow you to stretch a little farther than you normally would if you were flat on the ground.
Spinal Twist: The Spinal Twist Stretch is extremely effective when it comes to relieving back pain that keeps you in bed. Plus, it’s a super easy stretch to do. Begin by lying on your back and bringing your knees close to your chest while you hug them. Next, your left leg should be lowered to the floor, while your right knee is being squeezed into your chest. You’ll need to stretch an arm out to one side with your palm faced down. Your right foot should be hooked behind your left leg and your right knee should be guided across your body until you feel the stretch. Then repeat on the opposite side.
Hamstring Stretch With A Resistance Band (Or A Towel): Hamstring stretches help to keep your muscles flexible and mobile. To do the Hamstring Stretch With A Resistance Band (Or A Towel), lie on your back with your left leg extended. Then bend your right knee and place the resistance band or a towel around your right foot. Hold the band or the towel with both hands. Flex your right foot and lift it toward the ceiling, straightening your leg as much as possible. Gently pull the resistance band or towel to feel your muscle stretch. Hold for 30 seconds. Then repeat on the other side.
Hip Flexor Stretch: Tight hip flexors might be to blame if your hips are sore or you have lower back pain. In order to keep your hip flexors flexible and working the way they should, you need to stretch your hip flexors regularly. To do this Hip Flexor Stretch, lie flat on your bed. Let your legs bend at your knee and hang comfortably off the edge of your bed. Slowly lift one leg and bend your knee. Then pull your knee toward your chest while your other leg is relaxed and hanging off of your bed. Your hips should feel stretched, but not be in pain when you do this exercise. Hold for 15 to 30 seconds and then switch legs. Repeat on each side three times.
Neck and Shoulder Stretch: If you often wake up with a stiff neck after sleeping, doing neck and shoulder stretches in the morning can help ease the tension. To do this Neck and Shoulder Stretch, sit up in bed and gently place one leg in front of the other. To stretch the muscles on the right side of your neck, turn your left ear over to your left shoulder and hold for 20 seconds. Then turn your right ear over to your right shoulder and hold for 20 seconds to stretch the left side of your neck. Relax for a moment and then roll your shoulders to the back, and then to the front. Then lift your shoulders up to your ears, tensing your muscles, and allow them to drop completely. Repeat this entire sequence three times.
Bed-To-Floor Stretch: As much as we’d all love to stay in bed all day, we’re going to have to get up and moving and start our day at some point. This Bed-To-Floor Stretch is a great transition exercise since it will help wake you up thanks to a fresh supply of oxygen to your brain, in addition to stretching your back. To do the Bed-To-Floor Stretch, swing your feet over the side of your bed so that they touch the floor. While keeping your knees bent, hang your head and arms down to the floor, rounding your back over your knees. Then let your head and arms dangle to the floor and hold for five breaths.
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