How many of you stretch on a regular basis? If you’re working out, you already know you should be stretching before and after you exercise. But how about stretching to relax your mind and body? If not, I have 10 bedtime stretches you should be doing and the good news is you can start them today.
Why Should We Stretch?
We know that stretching is essential for preparing our bodies for exercise and for reducing our risks for injuries. But stretching is also very beneficial for preparing our bodies for bedtime. How? By providing our bodies with a calming effect. As each muscle group contracts and lengthens, the tension in our physical body slowly relaxes.
Stretching can also have a powerful impact on our mind as well. As you focus on every movement and your breath during each stretch, you’ll find that your overworked mind will begin to unwind. This, of course, is what we all want when we go to climb into bed, right?
For individuals who are more concerned with aging gracefully, regular stretching is great at keeping your hips, hamstrings and torso flexible. This in itself is key to reducing future limitations on daily activities such as climbing stairs, getting in and out of car seats and decreasing age-related injuries.
Keep reading to learn the 10 bedtime stretches you can start doing tonight.
10 Bedtime Stretches You Should Be Doing
Cat Cow Stretch
Downward Facing Dog
Side Neck Stretches
Seated Forward Fold
Seated Wide Leg Forward Fold
Seated Wide Leg Straddle
If you do not normally stretch at night, start with these exercises 2-3 times a week before bed. Keep in mind, that it is not a race, so your goal is NOT to get through these 10 stretches as fast as you can. Instead, you should go into each stretch and hold it for several seconds before transitioning to the other side or next stretch.
Another thing to keep in mind is that some of you may not be as flexible as other people and that’s ok. The goal is to stretch to your specific limit, breathe through the hold and then push yourself a little farther next time.
Finally, you can do these stretches in any order you want. The order I’m showing you above is the one I use. Not that it’s necessarily the best way, but I’ve been doing it so long that my brain is wired to do it this way.
Over time you may find that you really like stretching at bedtime and this will become your normally nightly routine. Even on the nights when you are already super tired, I want to challenge you to do your bedtime stretches. I promise you will find that this simple act will create a more restful night of sleep.
So, start stretching tonight and try it for a week or two. Then, let me know how it goes. Did you notice a difference? How do you feel? Are you more relaxed and calm? I would love to know your thoughts so share your experience with me here on the blog or on my Twitter or Instagram account.
Sweet dreams my wellness peeps!