Today I want to discuss the first thing you need to do each morning.Do you grudgingly roll over and hit the snooze on your alarm first thing in the morning? Do you jump up and head for the coffee and then the shower? I want to ask each of you to begin your day with a simple activity that will take a limited amount of time but will also change the course of the day. Rather than immediately rush towards your day, take a few minutes to stretch your muscles. Stretching is an activity anyone can and needs to do regardless of physical health. It is specifically important to stretch your muscles first thing in the morning as you have spent the night curled up or in a multitude of positions (especially if you find yourself sharing the bed with children or animals). I give stretching as homework to each of my clients regardless of the reason they are coming to see me. Stretching releases tension from the muscles and allows one to maintain range of motion. Our bodies hold the emotional and physical stress of our days and without a few simple stretches, we find ourselves with neck and shoulder issues and back pains. Stretching simple feels good! It requires no specific equipment and you need to make it the first thing you do each morning as it will enable you to be more balanced as you start your day. Think you have no time in the morning to stretch? Take a clue from our pets and consider the first thing a cat or dog does after taking a nap or sleeping for awhile. Instinctively, an animal will stretch before taking a step. Sadly, humans have allowed the stress of time crunch to override the instinctively need to stretch. Make stretching a part of your morning routine and don’t forget to add it throughout the day. I begin each day stretching my legs and arms before getting out of the bed. It feels good to move my muscles and helps me appreciate what they do for me. You can find examples of 5 simple yoga poses to try in this MindBodyGreen post or this article stretching for beginners. When all else fails do simple shoulder rolls, stretch your arms over your head and then reach for the ground. Self Care includes simple daily activities which should always include stretching. Before jumping out of bed, take a minute to stretch your body.
Self Care Saturday is a weekly series offering tips and suggestions for daily self care.]]>