Stretching in the morning for many people, exercising the first thing in the morning is convenient. It may or may not be the most welcome time, but it is convenient. Some people are morning people like me, ready to dash out into daily living with oomph. Many more people are very slow getting going in the morning and need a few minutes to really wake up. Nothing can or should be done about the way we wake up.
The thought of indulging in a few exercises upon awaking is enough to discourage almost anyone. But try them a few times and perhaps you will see a difference. stretching exercises can be profitable.
Why stretching in the morning?
When we sleep and therefore let our muscles sleep, blood tends to collect in the internal organs, or “splanchnic circulation.” Very little blood is needed in the muscles, or “peripheral circulation.” If on waking there is no noticeable muscular activity, blood very slowly leaves the splanchnic pool, resulting in sluggish circulation to the brain and muscles. The person wakes up groggy, listless, and without energy.
However, three to four minutes of easy exercises, stretching in the morning, while in bed can redistribute the blood, clear away the cobwebs, and bring back over-all tone. Energy comes surging in and the person feels as alert and as full of energy as he might normally experience only well into midday.
How to stretch in the morning
1. Stretch hard 5 times, maintaining “stretch” for 3 seconds and relaxing for 2 seconds
2. With elbows tucked in beside body and legs together, arch back 3 times
3. Tense all leg muscles hard and relax. Do this 12 times
4. Do 2 sit-ups touching your toes.
5. Raise bent legs over your head and touch ears with knees 3 times
6. With palms pressing each other, hands close to front of chest, push hard to one side and then the other, resisting with the other arm. Do this 10 times.
7. With fingers flexed, grasp hands and pull apart, first to one side and then the other. Do 10 times.
8. Place hands on abdomen and push vigorously while resisting by tensing abdominal muscles. Do this for 3 seconds and then relax for 2 seconds. Repeat 10 times.
Time required for these stretching in the morning exercises, once you get the hang of them, should only be two to three minutes. When you really become proficient and can breeze through this series in less time, then do it twice. At most, five minutes is sufficient to get you started in the morning.
No stretching in the morning hard before warming up
Flexibility exercises, as with all other workouts, should not be attempted when you are “cold.” Warm up for a few minutes. If you are doing morning exercises when you wake up, do flexibility exercises first, but start them gradually. You have three goals:
- To increase range
- To increase forcefulness
- To increase speed of motion
So start stretching in the morning slowly, take it easy, and do not work against the clock. As mentioned earlier, one month should be devoted entirely to flexibility exercises. During the second and third months, progressive resistance can be added-but keep up the flexibility exercises, too. Over time, and a very short amount of time at that, you will find that your flexibility and core strength have increased significantly.
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