It can be hard to jump out of bed and have a great day if your muscles and joints are stiff and creaky. But a little warm-up and stretch – before your feet ever touch the floor – can help you get up and running a little easier.
Stretching before getting out of bed can help wake your body up. It can loosen and lube muscles and joints while encouraging better circulation.
An in-bed stretch may also turn off the body’s parasympathetic nervous system – your rest and digestive system – to help put you in a relaxed state and set the tone for the rest of the day. In theory, it may also help prevent falls by enhancing body awareness when you step out of bed.
You don’t really need to worry about a warm-up when you’re stretching in bed – your body will be warm from being tucked in under the covers. All it takes is a few minutes of joint flexing before getting started.
Flex your lower limbs while you’re still lying down; put knees in the air, and when they are up there, raise and lower your feet. Roll your ankles and move them back and forth. Next, sit up in the bed and slowly look rotate your neck to the left and right.
Roll your shoulders a few times, and then do some air-bicep curls. Move your wrists around and open and close your hands.
Now you should be ready to stretch! Try holding each of the following for 30-60 seconds and try to remain stable. Here are a few you can try in bed:|
Single Knee Pull: Lie on your back with your legs extended, then bend your left knee. Grasp the back of your left thighs and pull the knee towards your chest. Flex your right foot and press the thigh and calf of that leg down towards the bed. You should feel a stretch in the front of your right hip and your right thigh. Return to the starting position and do the other leg.
Side-Lying Quadriceps Stretch: Lie on your right side with legs stacked and extended. Rest your right arm under your head. Bend your left knee and bring your heel towards your right buttock, reaching back with your left hand to grab your foot. You’ll feel the stretch in your right thigh and hip. Turn to your left and repeat.
Child’s Pose: Position yourself on all fours, with your knees hip-width apart, big toes touching, and your head and neck in neutral alignment. Slowly drop your buttocks back toward your heels as you extend your hands in front of you and rest your forehead on the bed. You should feel the stretch down your arms, shoulders, and back.