The Chinese New year came shortly after ours which in my estimate has made our winter seem all the shorter and by far less severe. Nevertheless it is still winter and so many of you have the notion of getting back into exercising when it gets warmer out. With that thought in mind I encourage you all to jump start our exercise routines, and give our mind and body a boost. This can be accomplished first thing in the morning in bed before your feet even touch the floor, and it will take you less than 10 minutes. It is amazing how going the extra mile and doing something for yourself really helps your physic.
Full Body Stretch
Always start your day once you are fully awake by fully expanding your lungs and taking deep breaths. This can be done while you are still lying down. Take three deep breaths first then still lying flat on your back raise your arms up over your head as far as you can reach them stretching arms up and extending your feet down, feel your spine extend, hold this stretch and breathe deeply three times.
Next still on the bed, bring yourself to the sitting position with knees bent, raise your arms high above your head with palms facing upwards fingers interlocked. Feel your rib cage expand and the spine awaken as you stretch, elongating your spine, filling your lungs with air. Hold this stretch to the count of 10. Exhale and as doing so lean slightly to the right, still holding the stretch, then back to center, then repeat the stretch on the left side, than return to center. Repeat 2 more times.
Neck and Shoulder Stretch
Still sitting on the bed, inhale deeply, filling your lungs with air, this helps to relax tense muscles. With arms by your side for support gently stretch your head to the right (keeping shoulders level). Hold for a count of 5 as you inhale in, exhale and return to center. Repeat this stretch on the left side. These movements should be repeated three times each side.
Lying flat on your back, bring your knees up so they are bent. Turn your head to the right and at the same time turn your knees to the left, this really helps to stretch your lower-back. Remember to breathe slowly and deeply, hold for 30 seconds. Repeat on the opposite side 3 times each side.
Stretching Hamstrings (waking up the legs)
Lying flat on your back, raise right leg straight up (so your right leg is at a 90 degree angle from your left leg) pull gently towards your body, until you feel the stretch. Hold this position while rotating ankle, then release, repeat this stretch with left leg.
These simple stretches only take a few minutes of your time and are invaluable to you both physically and mentally. Starting your day with an abundance of oxygen give’s you a new lease on life and the courage to accomplish all the daily tasks that you’re facing that day. This is a simple gift to you that’s well worth the time.