We’ve all been there. We tell ourselves we’ll set our alarm that little bit earlier. We’ll do some yoga, have run and maybe even grab a cuppa Joe en route to work – all before 7.30am. Ha yeah right, we all know that bed is way too alluring for that.
How about we make life easier for ourselves? Manage expectations a little lower and just set our alarms 15-20 minutes earlier? There that’s not so bad is it? The wonderful thing is, the most nourishing thing you could do in your morning is just giving yourself time and space to breathe. That paired with some gentle stretches can be just the ammo you need to seize the day in style, with a happy and healthy mind a body.
Need some inspo on the stretch front?
Need more convincing? Here’s 5 reasons to get that morning stretch on:
- Increased Energy – Even if it takes a while to get going, once you start to move, your body will feel a million times better for it. By stretching in the morning, you allow the body to reconfigure and kickstart all of it’s processes. Ready (and raring for the day ahead). Have you ever noticed that the more you move, the happier you feel? You can even do it in bed. Don’t overthink it just breathe and move mindfully.
- A Clearer Mindset – By taking that extra moment to slow things down in the morning you allow the body to breathe and the mind to focus. Whenever I start my mornings slower I always notice my productivity levels peak. I have a more mindful and logical approach to activities that I otherwise wouldn’t when I’m screaming head first out the door fumbling for my coffee on the way. By slowing down you allow your mind to be still instead of flooding it with the huge amounts of information overload we’ve gotten so used to. Negating this information influx (or at least delaying it) means that your mind can start clearer and more focussed going into your day. Some of my best ideas have come from slowing down.
- Increased blood flow – Stretching in the morning can improve blood flow and decrease stress before the day ahead. This is because the movement activates your parasympathetic nervous system (the system generally responsible for your body’s ability to rest, digest, and recover). You simply can’t access this mode if you’re speeding your way out the door of a morning at a million miles a minute.
- Improved Posture – The majority (81 percent) of UK office workers spend between four and nine hours each day sitting at their desk, equating to an average of 67 sedentary days per person each year, claims a survey from Fellowes. Nearly half (45 percent) of office workers polled said they sat at their desk for between six and nine hours daily with 36 percent claiming they spent four to six hours seated. Ouch….So likely if you’re reading this, you may just sit at a desk for a living. Even if you don’t our society is wired to sit down. By stretching in the morning (or any other time throughout the day) you play your part in damage controlling the impact of our sit down society on our bodies. E.g. likely culprits are rounded shoulders from tight/weak chest muscles, tight/weak hip flexors, hamstrings, quadriceps and calves. This can also play a huge part of relieving the super common complaint of lower back pain and knee pain (usually worsened by how much we sit down). Don’t believe me? Check out this little TED Talk from Roger Frampton which will blow your mind on the topic!
- Better Performance in Your Training – Sure, maybe you have the strength behind you in your training, but do you have the ability to move your body through its full (healthy) range of motion? By adding flexibility and mobility training to your regime you serve to benefit from huge gains in functional range (the range in which our bodies can move most effectively) and thereafter better performance.
So you see even if you manage to stretch 4 times a week for 15 minutes a time, this will soon add up to an hour/week which will do your body and mind a wonder!
Happy stretching my friends! Till next time…
Sending health & happiness,
Taken at: MOVE Studios, Market Hall Fulham