Morning Habit #6: Stretch

Stretch

Stretch in the morning.

It is pretty self-explanatory.

My dog does it. Every morning. He never gets distracted by his breakfast or going on a walk. He never forgets to stretch. He sets a good example.

All living creatures need to wake their bodies up. Stretching gives our muscles a moment to expand and prepare for the tasks of the day. It gives our lungs a chance to breathe in as much life as possible. It releases lots of kinks and knots that inhibit proper blood flow, which brings that life giving oxygen to all parts of the body.

Need a moment?

Move over Twix! Candy bars don’t always cut it. But I have noticed that stretching gives my mind a much needed moment. Stretching is a slow activity. It requires us to stop. Breathe slow. Move gingerly. Take inventory on how we are doing. Not many activities in life have this effect.

I particularly appreciate my morning stretching routine because it lessens chronic back pain. I have always been a busty girl with a tendency towards clumsiness. Its an excellent recipe for constant, dull lower back pain. Really impressive posture can’t always compensate for few falls over the years.

A few months ago, I realized my back pain was practically gone. At this time, I was stretching and jogging almost every day. I prioritized healthy habits.

Dropping those habits during a hectic season brought back the pain. I am anxious to be a habitual morning stretching-guru again now.

Getting Started:

There is a plethora of stretching tutorials on Pinterest to help get you started. You could also join a pilates class at your local gym (I do not recommend yoga unless the program offers a specifically non-spiritual experience).

Here are a few of my favorite/most helpful stretches (I am not affiliated with the following links whatsoever):

A stretch to rotate hips and ease lower back pain: click here.

More stretches for hips/back: click here.

Stretches to ease neck and shoulder tension: click here.

Every day stretches: click here.

Lets take the time to wake up our minds and bodies. I’m sure our muscles will thank us.

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