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Morning Stretches for Extra Energy, Improved Posture & More

 width=Whether or not you have enjoyed a restful night's sleep, you will always benefit from having a good stretch after sleeping on your back for several hours. The benefits of stretching in the morning — for as little as five minutes — outweigh any inconvenience you think it might pose while you're rushing to get ready for work, getting the family up and going or eating your breakfast. Set the alarm for a few minutes earlier to make time for the benefits of a few stretching exercises. You will be able to go about your day with both an improved posture and a greater store of energy for the day ahead. You can spend just five minutes or you can take it further...

How to stretch in the mornings

Instead of stretching cold in the morning, stretch when your muscles are warm just as you get out of bed. Set your alarm to wake you up five to ten minutes earlier and, weather permitting, stretch in front of a sun-filled window. Here are eight stretching exercises to follow each morning.

Improve Your Posture

Many of us, especially those who sit in front of a computer for extended periods of time, develop poor posture as a result of overstretched back muscles and tight chest muscles. How many end up with a hunched back with your shoulders hovering just below the ears?
A morning routine of stretches that focuses on opening these back and chest muscles can be effective for loosening them up. As these muscles become more and more flexible, changes in stance and posture will become evident. For extra results, carry out a series of shoulder shrugs and chest-opening stretches at your desk as well throughout the day.

Fewer Aches and Pains

Morning stretches can also be useful when it comes to eliminating aches and pains in the muscles and joints. While such aches and pains can develop at any time throughout the day, they are more likely in the morning following the body all night rest. Use gentle stretching to warm up the body and alleviate joint discomfort. Part of the problem (as you grow older) is that, besides your muscles shrinking, there can be less fluid surrounding the tendons.

Increased Blood Flow

Stretching can be helpful in increasing blood flow to all parts of the body — including the brain. Although such blood flow is important all day long, it may be especially crucial during the morning hours as we start our day after several hours of sleep. That increased blood flow helps with improved concentration and sharpens our senses.

Greater Amounts of Energy

We are all looking for more energy to help us through a long, working day, and doing stretches in the morning helps to give us that "get up and go" feeling to support our energy throughout the day.    width=