Get more mobile in just ten minutes a day
As we get older, our muscles become shorter and lose their elasticity and this can have a huge knock-on effect on our range of motion. If you sometimes experience soreness or difficulty when carrying out routine movements such as reaching up, turning around or bending down, regular stretching can help.
Stretching helps the body to counteract age-related stiffness and muscle weakness by keeping your muscles strong and healthy. By spending just ten minutes a day stretching, you will quickly notice an improvement in your flexibility and all-round mobility.
Morning is an ideal time to stretch as it’ll also leave you feeling energised and raring to go.
But before we get started, don’t forget that stretching is a natural movement so there’s no need to bounce or use force. If you do, you may cause your muscles to tighten and increase your risk of injury. Carry out each stretch in a slow and controlled manner and hold for 15 to 30 seconds.
Six morning stretches
These simple flexibility stretches can be carried out on your bed for maximum ease. Additionally, stretches one to five require you to lie on your back, making this an ideal wake-up mobility routine.
- Overhead stretch: extend your arms over your head and feel your body stretch from your fingertips to your toes. Take three to four deep, relaxing breaths and repeat.
- Knee to chest stretch: bring one knee to your chest, while keeping the other leg bent. Don’t raise your head or tense your neck. Take three to four deep, relaxing breaths and feel the stretch in your lower back and buttocks. Repeat with opposite knee.
- Hamstring stretch: grasp one leg and pull it towards you, then straighten it as far as is comfortable. Keep the other leg flat or bent on the bed. Take three to four deep, relaxing breaths and feel your hamstring lengthen. Repeat with opposite leg.
- Knees to chest stretch: bring both knees to your chest and gently grasp your legs. Don’t raise your head or tense your neck. Take three to four deep, relaxing breaths and feel the stretch in the lower back and buttocks. Repeat.
- Knee rolls: slowly roll knees to one side, keeping them together and ensuring both shoulders remain in contact with the bed at all times. Take three to four deep, relaxing breaths and feel the stretch in your lower back. Repeat on opposite side.
- Upper-back stretch: while seated, clasp both hands and extend arms out in front of you at shoulder level. Look down and slightly round your back. Take three to four deep, relaxing breaths, feeling the stretch between the shoulders. Repeat.