5 Benefits of Morning Stretches.

Cat’s don’t need to be told to stretch. It’s something that they naturally do. They yawn, get up slowly and arch their back way up into the air.

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Just why should you be taking the time to do morning stretches!?

Cats don’t need to be told to stretch. It’s something that they naturally do. They yawn, get up slowly and arch their back way up into the air. It’s cute but it also serves a very important purpose.

Cats are chronic stretchers because after long periods of inactivity they need to stretch to make sure their muscles are ready for action. It also helps reverse a dip in blood pressure, and allows blood to flow to joints, muscles, and the brain! And to top it all off, it feels good. Morning stretches can be amazing and make us feel so good, even if it’s subtle.

But, why do the majority of us forego our morning stretches?

Who knows?! Humans have such an inflated ego that we often think we can go through life putting our bodies through hell. We push ourselves to the absolute max, and forget to partake in basic acts of self-care.

I can’t count how many times I’ve spoken to people in my previous job about the importance of stretching. It’s relevant for all walks of life, whether you’re working a physical job or in a more sedentary environment.

Our muscles need to be lengthened, popped, rubbed, loosened and any other adjective you can think of. You wouldn’t run a marathon without stretching your hamstrings, nor would you lift weights without giving your arms a warm-up. why do we expect to get out of bed, after lying still for eight hours, and expect our muscles to just respond immediately?

We shouldn’t because it’s madness.

We aren’t designed to function while ‘forgetting‘ about the basic fundamentals of human biology. It’s a recipe for disaster both physically and mentally.

Image from LittPro Inc.

Why we should stretch every morning?

When did you last take the time to lay in bed and stretch all of your limbs out until they couldn’t go any further? Remember that feeling? It’s lovely and until recently I’d forgotten that it even existed. The only thing I did was jump out of bed, roll my shoulders and arch my back so that it would crack. Stretching, yes, but not relaxed in the slightest. It was done with haste and eagerness to get dressed and out the door. There were no ‘five minutes of mindfulness‘ with it.

Since then I’ve learned that my muscles need time to come into their own in the morning, especially now during recovery when my body is doing its best to heal.


Top 5 Reasons we need to partake in morning stretches.

1. It increases flexibility in muscles and joints.

When our bodies have been dormant for a long period of time the joints and muscles stiffen so we need to loosen them up before we can properly begin our day.

Stiffness and pain can occur in our bodies when there is a build-up of fluid in the joints (especially the spinal column) and this mostly takes place overnight while we’re lying down.

Stretching in the morning helps us ease and release our muscles, increases flexibility, and makes it easier for us to get out of bed. It’s like sending a gentle signal to your body and mind that it’s time to wake up.

2. It improves circulation.

Stretching in the morning kick starts your circulation which, in turn, kicks start your energy levels getting you ready for the day ahead. The better the blood flows the more your concentration levels are increased and your senses sharpened.

With this in mind, it’s important that we stretch at regular intervals during the day. If you sitting for more than an hour at a time it’s important that you get up, have a stretch, and keep yourself active.

Yoga with Adriene provides a great video on how to carry out stretches/yoga at your desk.

3. It increases energy flow.

As I mentioned before stretching increases the blood flow to our bodies and encourages our energy levels to rise. If you’re feeling a little groggy during the day give yourself a stretch out and see how it makes you feel.

Sometimes all we need to do is take a moment to listen to our bodies and do some simple stretches in order to bring ourselves back to life.

Image from bruce mars

4. It helps to combat stress.

The thought of getting up in the morning for most is like some sort of gruesome nightmare, especially if you know you’re walking out that bedroom door and straight into a stressful day. Stretching in the morning can help remove some of that uncomfortable tension we hold within our bodies.

The act of stretching is so therapeutic, energy-enhancing, and stiffness busting it can help us better cope with the day ahead. It may even make you feel more positive about the challenges you’re about to face.

5. Stretches improve your posture.

It should come as no surprise that regular stretches help to strengthen the muscles in your back and shoulders. With many jobs requiring you to work from a desk, or how often we look down at our phones, it’s no wonder posture is a big issue. And with poor posture comes chronic pain in both the back and neck. So, in order to combat this, it’s important to regularly stretch your upper back, all the while remembering the phrase up and out!


Do you regularly partake in stretches or do you need reminding?

There are hundreds of references to stretching and its benefits of it throughout the web. I could have listed one hundred things here about why stretching is good for you, so it took quite a job to narrow it down. I’m personally really suffering from the effects of not stretching enough, especially in my back. This is particularly important if you’re stuck at a desk or hunched over a laptop for the majority of the day writing.

Remember to take time to unfold your body from time to time. It’ll thank you in the long run.

80 comments

  1. I don’t know why but I haven’t done morning stretches in the longest time, and my body is definitely feeling the neglect. But I LOVE stretching! You would think that would make it easy. Maybe I should take note every time one of my cats starts stretching and join them!

  2. A stretching routine can be quite useful especially for those who spends hours sitting daily

  3. I love yoga in the morning for this very reason. I’m not great at stretching on my own but when it comes to yoga I could spend hours on the mat.

  4. I wish I made more time for this – upcoming goal, for sure! It’s such a great way to start a day! Great article and inspiration for me to get going with this.

  5. Ah, this post has reminded me just how much I need to stretch and I’m feeling like right now while I’m sat down responding to this post, that I NEED to stretch. When I stretch it makes me feel amazing mentally and physically, so this post was a welcome reminder! Thank you for sharing x

  6. Absolutely love a good morning stretch! I feel it works wonders at making you feel more awake and ready for the day ????

  7. I’m glad this was able to help you 😀 I have faith in you that you can fully implement this into your morning routine.

  8. I love this! I need to start stretching more. I’ve lost so much flexibility in the past years. Adding it to my morning routine would make a peaceful start to the day!

  9. This is a great post! I had completely forgotten about how good stretching actually feels and it’s something I never do consciously. I need to incorporate this into my daily morning routine.

    Roger

  10. Thank you for stopping by and reading! I really need to get back into the swing of things in regards to my stretching.

  11. My muscles get stiff pretty quickly so stretching is really important to me.

  12. Absolutely agreed about ther benefits! I use yoga to stretch and only before and after my workout in the evening though. Should definitely try doing it in mornings. I’m usually running late so naturally never even thought of it, hehe…

  13. Absolutely, I know the truth in that, in the same way that being on my own leads to a decline in mental health and the healthy habits slip again. I’ve pretty much hit that point a couple of days ago here, right now I am very effectively imitating a swan.

  14. This is such a nice article. Suffered a lot from back pain and slip disc in the past, I started doing yoga. Though not able to stretch fully, but am improving day by day. Thank you for sharing.

  15. This is super helpful. I have poor circulation in my legs and I think stretching is one of many things I should look in to. Thank you for such a helpful post!

  16. This is exactly what I need to implement into my life. My muscles have been tight lately and I know it is because my body is really tense. I made some changes to my diet and now I need to incorporate a physical fitness plan.

  17. Good post! I really need to do a better job of stretching myself. I can feel the stiffness and aches when I don’t!

  18. I’m addicted to my morning routine of forward folds, cat/cow, and/or bridge series. All yoga moves that are wonderful for waking the body and bringing it back to life. In the last few months, I’ve had some lower back issues that have reminded me of the imoortance of stretching. Great article! Thanks!

  19. This was so informative and right on time for me. I often forget to stretch after working out &I wake up sore &tight like no other the next morning lol

  20. This is so helpful and so true! Stretching in the morning helps me feel loose and ready to go for the day. It is definitely stress relieving too. Thank you for sharing!

    Geraldine | https://geraldinetalks.com

  21. I stretch everyday, and I totally agree with your assessment as to why you should. It makes my day start better! Thank you for sharing your knowledge.

  22. I can’t say I’ve ever done morning stretches I normally just rush out of bed on a morning but this post has made me curious. I might give them a go looking at all these benefits!

    Cara

  23. Morning stretches are so important- this is how you prepare your muscles for the rest of the day. This is the same reason why people stretch and warm-up before doing their actual workout. I like that it increases the energy flow right off the bat without needing caffeine to kick in yet. It is interesting that stress is prevented, which makes sense because that’s why people do yoga. Thanks for sharing!

    Nancy ♥ exquisitely.me

  24. I always have to get cats included in some way. Especially when it comes to stretching! Thank you for reading and enjoying 😀

  25. Yeah I should have mentioned that. Hard stretches coupled with cold, sleepy muscles can actually make things worse opposed to using gentler stretching techniques. That’s what we would have told people in my previous job where we had to give talks on stretching correctly quite frequently. Thank you so much for stopping by and reading, and thank you for correcting me in regards to cold stretches.

  26. I really need to get into bedtime yoga, I’ve just always practiced in the morning despite knowing it’s healing properties for sleep. In fact yoga has been difficult for me this week because I DIDN’T stretch properly and ended up creating a kink in my neck and upper back. That shows me!
    It’s hard to translate healing into a more ‘toxic’ environment. Our positive habits can become easily diluted and even disposed of in this sort of place, and it also works in regards to your mental health. If you’re experiencing a decline in mental health due to an environment change, then those good habits will become less and less because you just don’t feel like it. And even though you know it will help, the motivation to do so can be so low, that you just can’t will yourself.

    x

  27. I certainly feel it but like you sometimes it just doesn’t happen for what ever reason! Thank you for stopping by and reading.

  28. I try to get myself up and moving for some morning stretches, but it doesn’t always happen. That being said, I feel it when I don’t!

  29. I do love a morning stretch, it is an excellent start to the day. I have to confess I am not as committed these days, but my summer plan is to get back in to it. Great Post, thank you ????

  30. I’m always one to stretch my body in bed before I get up in the morning (and I have the bruises from hitting my bedside table to prove it!) but being away from home this week, I’ve been making the time to do some yoga every morning – I stretch in bed, pee, drink a glass of water and then do a gentle yoga sequence (the one I’ve found to be best on the TrackYoga app is the cold and flu one because it just gently opens the chest – and I still have a lot of tightness there from my chest & shoulder injury). I then find I feel a lot better during the day and I’m carrying a bit less tightness and tension around with me 🙂 It’s only 12 minutes out of the morning and I feel it really increases my productivity.

    I’m also a fan of bedtime yoga at the moment 😀 Which is again only an 11 minute sequence but it just gets me ready for sleep.

    I’m trying to figure out how to translate some of these healthier habits (including sleeping with my phone in a different room) back to the stressful battleground of home :-/

  31. Love the topic (the physiotherapist approves 😉 ). I’m one of those people who can¨t help but stretch naturally when I get up in the morning, however, I don’t think I would recomment doing serious stretches with cold muscles. I know there’s a lot of research but personally I always tell my patients to do yoga-like stretches after they’ve warmed up their muscles (usually after a workout etc.) That said, strecthes are awesome and feels amazing.

  32. Stretching has become one of my favorite activities. Every bone in my body is subject to crack at any point in the day, and after sleeping all night, they’re always stiff in the morning. Nice to know there are other benefits as well. Thanks!

  33. It’s so true, although this shoulder injury is really messing with my yoga game! There are still stretches and poses I can do!

  34. That’s the one thing I neglect about doing. Thanks for reminding me to stretch!

  35. This post is wonderful! My husband is a golfer and lives by how important stretches are for not only golf, but it just makes him feel better overall.

  36. I loved your comment about listening to your body. It is amazing how our body speaks to us but we’re not aware of it—enough.
    You wrote an excellent article. And I love the kitty cat touch at the beginning, very cute and inviting—smart! Thank you for sharing. ????

  37. I fail at it too a lot, especially lately, but having worked in the field where aches and pains are plenty I know stretches need to be done!

  38. This post is so right! I need to be more mindful of this myself!

  39. Stretching is so important for overall health and well being! Thanks for sharing!

  40. it is amazing how just adding a 30 minute stretching and meditating routine to my morning and late afternoon has completely changed my mindset and overall physiology. There are some days when i just can’t fit one or both of them in and i can definitely feel the difference.
    great article. thanks!

  41. I am very lazy man in this world. But I need to be serious now. I will be implementing all these points. Will be concentrating more on health. Thanks for this great post.

  42. I am so bad about stretching in the morning, and I don’t know why. I really need to be better about it though!

  43. I’m terrible at doing things I know I should do. I think I’ve made myself believe I don’t have the time.

  44. These are some great points! I’m definitely going to add these to my morning routine, plus I’m getting older. Try to think healthy these days. Thank you!

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