Stretching can do absolute wonders for your body.
Undertaking a nice stretch first thing in the morning is one of the best ways to begin your day.
It'll have you feeling primed for the day ahead, as well as provide you with some much needed mental clarity first thing in the morning.
So, apart from feeling looser, does stretching even do anything?
The reason most people stretch is to iron out some tightness in their muscles.
However the benefits stretch (parden the pun) much further!
Have you ever had somewhere to be first up in the morning, and your body has just felt achy, like it’s still half asleep?
Taking even just 15 minutes out of my morning routine to stretch can eliminate this.
This is because stretching increases your blood flow to all parts of the body, including your brain.
Good blood flow is crucial in the early hours of the morning as you look to kickstart your day.
Stretching in the morning has even shown to lead to increased concentration and sharpness.
Stretching is also great for posture
Apart from all these great reasons above, stretching in the morning has plenty of other benefits.
For one, it can really help with posture.
One of the reasons for this is that it can help with spinal awareness, meaning you’ll be more likely to notice throughout the day when you’re not sitting upright and will be more inclined to fix it.
But which stretches should I do?
The very most important thing is to just start - the individual stretches are less important than being consistent and moving your body.
That being said, this article here by Healthline is a great starting point.
However, one off day of stretching probably won't work the wonders you are hoping for.
Consistency is key!
It is vital that you get into a consistent routine with stretching in order to reap the benefits.
The Harvard Health Letter actually did a piece of the cumulative affect of stretching.
Muscles can take months to really tighten up, so realistically it'll take more than a few sessions to get them feeling better.
You can actually relieve some stress
A lot of people tend to get really tight up through their neck and shoulders when under stress.
Stretching this area out consistently and thoroughly can lead to a lot of relief in these key areas, and can make you feel less stressed out generally.
Stretching is also a great form of meditation, so spending 15-20 minutes doing this can really clear up your brain and have a calming effect.
Migraines and headaches can stem from tight muscles
If you suffer from regular migraines - or just the typical headache every now and then, you'll know how frustrating they can be.
Similar to stress, this can be from a build up in tightness in the head, neck, and shoulders.
Adding a mix of stretching through this area, as well as deep-breathing, will lead to relief of symptoms associated with your migraine or headache.
Adequately warming up and cooling down after exercise can also help with the severity of your headaches.
Stretching has a vast range of benefits, with no real downside when performed and executed with correct form and at correct times.
If you don't already, now is definitely the time to start beginning your day with a stretch!
Make sure you have your favourite coffee on hand to enjoy after a nice stretch! Check out our range of gourmet coffee syrups here.