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Get Ready for the Working Day with These 5 Transformative Morning Stretches

05 July 2023

There are plenty of ways of starting off a day. You could enjoy a relaxing shower, make yourself a coffee, or take extra time to cook yourself a delicious meal. But one thing that all too many people miss is stretching.

If you think stretching is only something you need to do before or after exercise, think again. Stretching is the perfect way to wake your body up for the day ahead, boost your energy, and help your body become more flexible in the long term.

Here are a few reasons why stretching before the workday is so useful and five transformative stretches to add to your routine.

The Benefits of Stretching in the Morning

Relieve pain or tension. Maybe you slept in a strange position or you've woken up with a stiff neck. Either way, stretching helps to release tension, making for a more comfortable day ahead.

Increase your blood flow. Boosting circulation can help your energy level and flexibility throughout the rest of the day.

Boost your mobility. Throughout the day, you'll no doubt be using your body in multiple ways, whether that's going to the shop to buy lunch or simply doing some evening chores.

Improve your posture. It's no secret that sitting at a desk day in, day out can do some serious damage to your posture. With regular stretching, you can loosen up your chest and back muscles, making your posture more flexible and robust.

5 Key Stretches to Include in Your Morning Routine

Here are the five transformative stretches to do before work.

1. Cobra stretch

You can perform this stretch either in bed or on a yoga mat when you wake up first thing in the morning. Lie on your stomach, keeping your hands flat beneath your shoulders. Tuck your elbows by your side and raise your head, neck, and chest off the floor, keeping the bottom half of your body firmly on the ground.

Hold the stretch for around 15 seconds before returning to the ground. Practice the stretch 8-10 times.

2. Spinal twist

You might be straining your back when you sit at a desk all day (less so, of course, if you invest in ergonomic desk furniture) so a spinal twist can set you up properly for the rest of the day.

To perform a spinal twist, lie on your back, raise one of your knees, and gently roll it over to the opposite side of your body, keeping both of your shoulders on the floor. Hold for 15 seconds, then repeat on the other side.

3. Cat-cow

This yoga stretch is great for opening up your back. Kneel hip-width apart on all fours before inhaling deeply and curving your spine, pushing your head up naturally. Then, exhale deeply, and arch your back like a cat would, creating a U shape in your spine.

Repeat the movement between the two positions around 10 times.

4. Neck stretch

This is a nice easy stretch that can help relieve tension if you've slept with your neck in a strange position. Move your right ear to your right shoulder, using your right hand to pull your head further to the side until you feel the stretch. Repeat on the other side.

5. Quad stretch

Stand up straight, holding onto a chair if needed. Keeping your feet hip-width apart, grab your left foot with your right hand. You should be bending at your right knee but keeping your two thighs next to each other. Hold for around 30 seconds then repeat on the other side.

Stretching at Your Desk - Is It Possible?

There are plenty of ways you can stretch at your desk without dramatically disrupting your workday. For starters, there are plenty of stretches that are simple to do sitting down. But if you do decide to perform some standing stretches, here's the good news - you can do so without having to abandon your work if you have a standing desk or height adjustable desk.

With a desk that allows you to stand up, you can continue sending emails, writing a word document, or even having a call if the stretch it subtle enough, all without having to abandon your work in the middle of the day.  

Not only do standing desks make it easier to stretch, but there's also the option to install a small treadmill under your desk so you can get your steps in while you walk.

This makes it easier to stay fit and avoid the negative consequences that can come with living a sedentary lifestyle. In conclusion, stretching is one of the best things you can do for your health, and stretching either before or during your workday helps you to recharge. Give it a go on your next day working from home - you'll be thrilled by the difference you spot after just a few days!