The best extended morning to start a new day
One New Year’s resolution I’m personally working on is to make the most of my mornings. Nothing is too difficult (no 5 am for me) – I have learned to set achievable goals I i know I can keep. This year, I just want to commit to one simple thing: a long, gentle series of mornings to get my day off to a good start.
Instead of rolling out of bed and heading straight to the Nespresso machine, I wanted to do something kind for my body (which I hope will help my body). Plus, research has shown that a morning stretch routine can help promote circulation, wake up muscles, against the effects work on the computer and even lead to higher self-confidence.
All of that sounds pretty adorable to me, so I researched some invigorating morning stretches that I can do as soon as I wake up. I’ve curated the following expert-recommended moves for their simplicity (no equipment required) and their focus on releasing neck and back tension — if you’re also spending the day at the machine count, I’m sure you can relate — to create a habit. can commit.
Your personal lineup may look a little different depending on your concerns, but any stretch in the morning is a way to restore the mind to ease into the day. .
*picture above by Riley Blanks Reed
Chest stretch from knee to chest
Target: Stretches the back while relieving lower back pain.
You can certainly lie down on the floor for this move, but one of the most comfortable stretches that can also be done is lying in bed. “Some consider it one of the most therapeutic stretches because of its gentle way of stabilizing the pelvis and low back.” certified yoga therapist Jasmine Rausch tells Byrdie. “Pulling the knees up to the chest encourages blood flow to vital organs, reduces bloating and stimulates digestion.”
- While lying on your back, gently pull your knees into your chest for at least 15 seconds.
- Repeat two or three times.
Target: Hip flexors and hip extensors.
For a stretching routine designed to withstand working at the computer all day, the gluteal bridge is a must. Again, you can absolutely do this from bed.
- Lie on your back, hands hip-width apart, knees bent, and feet hip-width apart on the floor.
- Squeeze your glutes and abs, pushing through your heels to lift your hips up into a straight line with your shoulders and knees.
- After a quick pause, lower and lift — repeat for 30 seconds.
Target: Spine, hips, neck and core.
Said to be the most comfortable stretch, this animal-inspired stretch stretches your back, neck, chest, and core in a single lunge, while strengthening your spine your neck and relieve neck tension.
- Assume a four-legged stance with your shoulders on your wrists and your hips on your knees.
- With a neutral spine, inhale slowly.
- As you exhale, pull your chin into your chest and your navel into your spine as you rotate your back
- As you inhale, arch your back as you look up at the sky.
- Repeat this pattern for 30 seconds.
Gentle neck stretch
Target: Muscles in the back and sides of your neck.
Although I tried my best to sleep on my back (reportedly the best to avoid wrinkles), I always wake up slightly tilted and on my side. Instead of fighting a losing battle in bed, I should immobilize my neck every morning with this gentle but powerful move. “This stretch relieves pain in a very common area,” Jeff Brannigan, program director at New York City’s Stretch*d, tells Well + Good. “It also resets and realigns the neck, as the sternocleidomastoid will help pull the head forward when the head is overstretched.”
- Bring your right ear to your right shoulder, and gently pull the left half of your head with your hand.
- Hold for 15 seconds.
- Repeat on the other side.
Standing forward bend / mountain pose
Target: Hips, hamstrings and lower back.
As the name suggests, this one you really have to support, but it is so a beautiful, mellow release for your back. End the movement with the Mountain Pose to start the day with confidence.
- From a standing position, feet slightly apart, inhale deeply.
- As you exhale, slowly rotate your body with your hips, keeping your torso as straight as possible.
- Hold the folded position for 5 deep breaths, gently rocking back and forth, and nodding your head.
- Slowly roll each vertebra up and into Mountain Pose: roll your shoulder blades down, open your palms forward, and extend your neck.
- Take 5 deep breaths then do your day.