What’s the first thing you do in the morning?
If you’re like most people, you probably hit the snooze button a few times and then jump out of bed to begin your day. Over time, the stress of “jumping out of bed” can eventually lead to nagging back pain and even serious injury like a slipped disc. Luckily for most of us, we practice functional fitness. Therefore, we won’t have this problem often, if at all.
However, it’s still worth your time to take a few minutes to slow down in the morning while introducing a stretching regimen that not only can protect your back, but also calm the mind to better prepare you for everything including your WOD, a visit to your local CrossFit box, or just an all around productive day!
Add these 3 tips to your morning routine:
1. Snooze No More
Hitting the snooze button results in interrupted sleep and can decrease the benefits of a good nights rest. Forego the snooze and set your alarm for when you need to wake up.
2. Roll Rather Than Jump
Decrease stress on your lower back by rolling out of bed rather shooting straight up. If you’ve done all those AbMat sit-ups like you were supposed to during Annie, then you can probably skip this. If you didn’t, follow these steps:
- Move yourself close to the edge of the bed while still lying on your back
- Roll onto your side closest to the edge of the bed keeping your shoulder in line with your hips. Don’t twist your spine.
- Use both hands to push yourself up into a sitting position and let your feet hang off the bed.
- Pause and take a deep breath to wake up the mind and body
- When you’re ready to stand, tighten your core, use your arms and legs to push yourself up to standing.
- Straighten both legs at the same time
3. Fold Forward. Get long.
Uttanasana, standing forward bend, wakes up the posterior chain by stretching the hamstrings and elongating the spine. At first Uttanasana can be very intense, however practiced regularly this forward bend offers benefits beyond the physical body. Uttanasana aids in increasing the digestive fire, activating the nervous system, and promoting back health.
Follow these steps for a gentle forward bend:
- Start with your feet hip width distance apart
- Bend the knees to protect the lower back and ease tension on the hamstrings
- Keeping the abdominal muscles engaged slowly fold forward until belly is resting on the thighs
- Completely release the head down
- Hold here and breathe for 10 breath cycles. With each exhalation the spine will release tension and slowly elongate
- To come up, keep the chin tucked into the chest and slowly roll your spine up. Taking the shoulders back and down at the top.
- Take a deep breath and step into your day
Add one, two, or all three of the tips above to your daily morning routine and jump-start your day!
Image Source: Tony Alter
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