You already know that stretching before and after you work out helps to keep your muscles warm and flexible, which reduces the risk of injury and prevents cramping. Starting each day with just a few minutes of stretches, however, is also beneficial to your overall health. This makes it a great component of your anti-aging routine.
So how, exactly, does stretching in the morning benefit you? Here are seven things this simple practice can do for you:
1. Increase blood flow: This mechanism gives your body a great jumpstart to the day because it stimulates blood flow, which brings oxygen to the brain. This wakes you up and gives you added energy.
2. Improve your workout: If you normally begin your day with your exercise routine, you’ll experience better flexibility during moves like squats, and improved performance just by elongating your muscle fibers. Just be sure not to hold your stretches for longer than about 30 seconds if you’re going to work out right away.
3. Breathe deeper: Stretching naturally encourages slow, deep breathing, which expands your lungs, increasing your respiratory capacity.
4. Stretch away stress: You live a busy life full of things that age you. Stretching your muscles – particularly those in your neck and back – eases the tension caused by stress. What better way to start the day?
5. Relieve aches and pains: Lying horizontally for several hours takes its toll on your body, especially as you get older. Stretching soon after you wake up works out these aches and helps redistribute fluid that has pooled in your joints while you slept.
6. Improve your posture: If you work at a desk all day you know how difficult it is to maintain healthy posture. One of the most effective ways to look younger is to prevent that slouching, hunched appearance which comes with years of bad posture. Stretching every morning is a great habit to help prevent this from happening.
7. Enhance mindfulness: The slow movements required when you stretch allow your mind to slow down, almost mimicking a meditative state. Take this opportunity to spend a few minutes mentally focusing on your personal development and life goals.
It’s a good idea to incorporate full range-of-motion stretches into your morning routine (i.e. slowly circle your head, arms, etc. all the way around) in order to get the full benefits of stretching.
You might be asking yourself, “Why should I take advice from Kellie Olver?” Because I’ve made it my mission to offer you simple ways to feel and look younger, as well as increase your physical and spiritual health.