Ease into your day with some gentle morning stretching. It can help to get your circulation going, increase your focus and energy levels, and improve your flexibility.
Here is a quick stretching routine you can do in less than 10 minutes:
- Shoulder circles
Standing or sitting up straight, move your shoulders in backward circles – move them up, back, down and forwards. Start with small circles then slowly make them bigger. If you are experiencing any discomfort, make the circles smaller. Do this for 30 seconds then do forward circles for 30 seconds.
- Upper back stretch
Interlace your fingers and extend your arms out in front of you with your palms facing away. Push your arms out as far as you can and hold for 30 seconds. Then move your arms up towards the ceiling with your palms facing away. Push your arms up as high as you can and hold for 30 seconds.
- Neck side stretch
Looking straight ahead, move your left ear down towards your left shoulder until you feel a stretch in the right side of your neck. Hold for 30 seconds. If you want to deepen the stretch, raise your left hand and place it on the side of your head. Repeat on the other side for 30 seconds.
- Hip circles
Start in a standing position with a slight bend in your knees. Push your hips forwards, to the left, backwards and to the right. As you rotate your hips, keep your torso straight and upright. Do this for 30 seconds, then repeat in the opposite direction.
- Ankle circles
Extend your left leg out in front and rotate your left ankle (if you are standing, you can keep your toes on the ground to maintain your balance). Start with small circles then slowly make them bigger. Do this for 30 seconds then repeat with the right ankle.
- Hamstring stretch
Lay on the ground with your legs straight. Lift your left knee towards your chest. Hold the back of your thigh to move your leg closer to your chest. Hold for 30 seconds. Release your left leg back to the ground then repeat with the right leg.
- Calf stretch
Start in a standing position and step your left leg out in front. Bend your left leg but keep your right leg straight. You may like to hold onto a wall or table for support. Press your right heel into the ground until you feel a gentle stretch. Hold for 30 seconds then repeat with the right leg.