How you feel when you wake up can set the tone for your entire day, which is why having a morning wellness routine is so important. And if you are someone who feels stiff and achy the moment you get out of bed, this should include starting your day with some movement, according to Dr. Leada Malek, PT, DPT, SCS.
As Dr. Malek explained in a recent Instagram post, plenty of different factors can lead to soreness in the morning, from something as simple as the firmness of your pillow to more serious issues like inflammation or tendon pain.
"The body does better with some active movement/stretches, but static stretching can feel good too," she wrote in her caption.
In the post, Dr. Malek demonstrated 10 stretches to do to kick off your day. The routine targets "common problem areas" — your spine, hips, and chest. Follow along to Dr. Malek's video and stop if you are experiencing any pain. Remember to seek guidance from your doctor first, too, if you have any injuries.
Isolated Lumbar/Thoracic Cat Cow
"Localise flexing and extending through just the low back or just the upper back. Inhale looking up, exhale looking down."
Child's Pose With Lean
"Sink into a Child's Pose, breathing slowly with arms stretched out. Walk arms to either side for a unilateral stretch."
"Stack on your side and rotate open. For sensitive nerves, stop at the shoulder. Increase range as able. Breathe through the lower ribs."
"Lie with knees bent and arms up by ears. Try to keep ribs down and shoulders back. Pinch shoulder blades up and down."
"Great for regaining some extension. Tuck tailbone to avoid overextending the low back. Keep shoulders away from ears and press up. Keep arms straighter for more extension."
Kneeling Lat Stretch
"Cross hands below neck and place elbows on a chair or bed. Move back into a stretch, exhale, and let sternum sink to the ground."
Scorpion With Pec Stretch
"Tuck tailbone and bring foot towards opposite shoulder. Press hand into floor and rotate through a tall spine. Feel the rotation throughout the whole back and stretch across the pec."
Lateral Line Stretch
"Press up onto hand for a deeper stretch. Avoid if there's pain in the low back! Lean onto quad to get more of a TFL stretch with obliques."
Lateral Wall Stretch
"Press arm at hip height and cross one leg in front. Reach up and over. Push hips away while staying balanced and in contact with the wall."
"Kneel in a lunge, tuck tailbone. Reach behind with one arm to opposite glute. Then the other arm up and over. This will open up the chest and hips. Breathe slowly."
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