Growing up in the dance world stretching was essential for a successful dance career. I got in the habit of stretching every morning when I woke up and over time I noticed significant differences in my flexibility, mood, and concentration. I continued this habit for 7 years but once I stopped dancing my freshman year of college, I also stopped stretching every day. It was only a matter of days until I truly noticed the importance of stretching. I lost my flexibility and I did not have as much energy throughout the day. After prioritizing stretching once again, I was back to my energized self. Seeing these changes in myself, I wanted to share the importance of stretching by pointing out 5 major changes you will experience by setting aside 10-15 minutes every morning:
- Say goodbye to back pain and hello to better posture
Stretching reduces tension that has built up in your spine and back muscles. This will eventually help your muscles be more relaxed throughout the day and relaxed back muscles lead to better posture. If you suffer from morning back pains, devote a few minutes to stretching and over time you will see a significant difference. One product that I find extremely effective for stretching out my lower back muscles is the CoreStretch which I found on Medi-Dyne.com. Kiss that achy breaky back goodbye with some easy stretches demonstrated by GMB Fitness.
- Jumpstart your brain
After sleeping for hours, it is crucial to help jumpstart the blood flow into your brain. This will sharpen your concentration and cognitive activities throughout the day. Waking up your brain first thing in the morning is a crucial factor to be the best version of yourself and you will see significant changes in your reflexes and memory. You can find several different stretches to get that blood pumping at LiveStrong.
- Increase flexibility
Stretching lengthens and relaxes your muscles which is more important than you think. Flexibility is crucial for athletes, but it is also important for everyone to be flexible to some degree. Flexibility is one of the first things you’ll lose as you get older, so it is important to stretch every day. My 94 year old great grandma still has her splits and I strive to be like her one day. Increasing flexibility by stretching decreases your risk for injury during your daily activities. If that doesn’t convince you, I have found that stretching lengthens your muscles for a longer/leaner look to your body. Increase your flexibility with a few of my favorite stretches found on Self Fitness.
- Stress no more
A great way to reduce the amount of stress in your body would be to relieve the knots that have built up overtime. Stretching calms your body physically and mentally which helps decrease knots from forming. Waking up your body by a gentle stretch can significantly reduce stress levels by starting your day with an awake and relaxed mind. Use the time spent stretching to clear your mind and focus on your body only, enjoy those few minutes of not having to think about anything but yourself. Some of the best stretches to help reduce stress are found on Healthy Women.
- Mood booster
Stretching helps boost the amount of oxygen that enters your brain which ultimately decreases the lethargic feeling that normally occurs half way through the day. By releasing mental tensions first thing in the morning, your overall mood will increase positively. The more blood flow into your muscles, the more energy you will have to start the day. No more waking up on the wrong side of the bed because you’ll stretch out all the bad vibes before you even walk out the door. Try a few stretches from Psychologies.com to boost that mood.
All these benefits will come over time and it’s never too late to start stretching. I believe that to be the best version of yourself, you should devote at least 10-15 minutes in the morning to wake your mind and body up. I notice a difference and I promise you will too! It is a simple habit to get in to that has major benefits. Get your stretch on!
Medi-Dyne offers a variety of stretching aids to help you make morning stretching a part of your daily routine, such as:
If you would like to read more about stretching, check out these articles: