There’s something you can be doing every morning to jumpstart your day even more than that Double-Venti-Mocha-Latte-Frap-half-calf blah blah blah…
It’s a little known fact of how much of our hydration we lose during sleep. Between sweating if it’s hot (now), breathing it out and just natural excretion, you wake up in a less hydrated state than when you got into bed. This leaves your muscles tight and restricted. Not to mention they’ve been in a restful state for the past several hours.
Something more of us should be doing each morning is STRETCHING! It’s not just an obligatory thing to do before going on a leisurely jog, it is also an activity that will boost your system in the morning if done right. Here’s what to do:
First, walk to the kitchen and pour yourself a 12-16 oz glass of water. Chug the whole thing. A flush of water in the morning is good for boosting your metabolism and it rehydrates you.
Next, do 25 squats. This will get your heart rate up just a bit so that you’re not stretching cold muscles.
With each stretch, you want to hold for 10-12 seconds. Avoid bouncing in and out of your stretches. Use slow, fluid motions.
Reach for the Sky: Stand with your feet shoulder width apart, clasp your fingers together and reach up a high over your head as you can. Take a deep breath as you stretch and hold for 10 seconds, exhaling as you release the stretch.
This is a great move for opening up your upper back, where you may hold a lot of your tension.
Chest Expander: Stand in a doorway and grasp each side of the frame. Step forward until your arms are behind you, fully extended. Lean forward just enough to feel the stretch in your chest and shoulders. Hold for 10 seconds.
This is great to open up your chest plate muscles. If you’re a side sleeper, they’ve been contracted for the most of the night.
Seated Back Twist: Sit on the ground and swing your right arm around the outside of your left thigh. Push your body until you feel the stretch in your lower and mid-back. Look as far behind you to increase the stretch. Hold for 10 seconds. Repeat on your other side for 10 seconds as well.
This is excellent for opening up your core muscles, which are most important when it comes to providing you with energy throughout your day.
Hamstring Bend: Using a stair or elevated object, lift your leg so that your heel is resting with your leg straight and your other foot still on the ground. Bend at the hips toward your toes and hold. Hold for 10 seconds and repeat with the opposite leg elevated to work other hamstring.
This works great if you walk or ride a bike to work as your legs will be more loose and comfortable.
Lying Glute Stretch: Lay down on the ground. Elevate your right leg up towards your chest and then swing your left foot over your right knee. Hold onto your right leg and gently pull towards your chest. You should feel the stretch in your left glute and hip flexor. Hold for 10 seconds and repeat on opposite side.
The glutes are a very neglected muscle group that are very important when it comes to powering your lower body up stairs or hills.
That’s it! You’re done. Breathing is key during your stretching. If you’re controlling your breath to remain steady and calm, the air entering and exiting your body will energize you and get your ready for the day ahead.