Wake up, yawn, bend and stretch and shake it off!
Being active creatures, dogs are always ready for action, they want to get up and get moving straight away. Not only does stretching wake up the muscles, it’s also a way to wake up the mind and give yourself time to prepare for the day.
The best part about stretching is that you can do it anywhere, including your bedroom just after you’ve rolled out of bed. Stretching isn’t just for flexible people, it’s for everyone, AND if you do it often enough YOU’LL one day be the flexible one!
It’s time to bend and stretch
Here are 4 simple stretches that you can do in the first few minutes after you’ve woken up. Just think… if you do these while you’re still half asleep, they’ll be over and done with by the time the kettle has boiled for your morning cup of tea.
- Standing side stretch – stand with your feet together (or as close as you can get them, without falling over), stretch both arms up above your head and put your hands together. Lean over to one side and slowly count to 5, then repeat on the other side. Don’t forget to breathe!
- Forward bend and stretch – sit on the floor, with your legs stretched out in front of you. (it’s okay if you can’t get them straight). Reach your arms out in front of you towards your feet. Hold, and count to 10. Only go as far as you can, don’t push yourself.
- Cat – Get on your hands and knees. Make sure your hands are in line with your shoulders and your knees in line with your hips. Round your back and look towards the floor. Hold for 10. Lift your head as you then arch your back. Hold for 10.
- Downward dog – start with your hands and knees on the floor, with your toes tucked under. Keeping your hands in line with your shoulders, push your hips up and back and try to straighten your legs (keep them bent, if the stretch is too intense). Keep your arms straight and look towards your toes.
Make bend and stretch part of your daily routine for your body and mind
Set your alarm 5 minutes early and aim to get your stretches done in that time. You might start to notice some immediate effects. Your mood might be better, your mind clearer and your motivation levels higher. You might even feel more energised and want to increase the time you spend exercising.
Your body AND mind benefit from getting up and moving.
Exercising isn’t just about making yourself look good, it’s about feeling good too, for the rest of your life! Don’t get bogged down telling yourself what you can’t do, just get out there and try. And don’t give up on yourself either. Make sure you are doing some form of physical exercise for 30 minutes every day! Watch your mental clarity skyrocket, as well as physical fitness when you exercise regularly!
A home workout is an awesome alternative! There are so many options! Don’t forget to warm up, cool down and bend and stretch before and after.
What do you like to do each day? Tell us your favourite exercises.