For me, stretching was always something you do after a workout — but I've discovered recently that adding some stretches to my morning routine is the perfect way to wake up my body, and even helps me feel more productive throughout the day.
One of my goals for 2020 was to become a more consistent morning person. When I started the year, I was waking up at 9 a.m., and I've slowly worked my way back to waking up at 7. While I was proud of the progress I had made, I still felt extremely sluggish when I made my way downstairs to do my morning workout. My muscles felt heavy, and I wasn't mentally prepared to exert that kind of energy. On mornings when I didn't work out, I felt unmotivated and unproductive. I would lay in bed on my phone for another hour after my alarm went off. So, a few weeks ago, I began stretching, in hopes of waking up my body and mind before I begin my day.
My routine is a simple 10-minute stretch. In the beginning, I tried just setting a timer and making up stretches as I went, but I realised I wasn't disciplined enough to do that. Now, I follow along to YouTube videos. Finding the one that worked best for me took some trial and error, but I kept trying and soon I was stretching every morning.
Since starting this routine, I've noticed changes both physically and mentally. This simple routine helps set the tone for my day. I get to take time with no distractions, no phone, and no other people. Any negative emotions I may have woken up with leave my system as I work out the kinks in my muscles and clear my mind. I enter each day feeling refreshed and motivated.
Any negative emotions I may have woken up with leave my system as I work out the kinks in my muscles and clear my mind.
Plus, during workouts I'm able to move easier and I feel lighter and more flexible. Starting my mornings this way has also encouraged me to take better care of my body overall. I'm listening to my muscles, stretching them to prevent injury, and resting when I feel I need to.
It's such a simple change, but I feel like I've benefitted from stretching in so many ways. Instead of slowly making my way out of bed, and going about my day in a less-than-stellar mood, I'm able to get in a better mindset and carry that with me throughout the day. I'm more productive and happier — so, I'm going to stick to it.