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Spending just five minutes every morning with the right exercises can help you feel better no matter what the day brings.
Try this simple, five-minute morning routine to improve the other 23 hours and 55 minutes of your day.
Minute 1: Diaphragmatic Breathing
Also called belly breathing, it helps regulate your autonomic nervous system to reduce morning stress.
By teaching you how to engage your diaphragm for every breath, it helps you reduce stress all day long — and prevents the tight shoulders that often result from chest breathing and helps you to start your day with a fresh mind.
Instructions: Lying on your back in your bed or on the floor, put one hand on your stomach and the other on your chest. Take a deep breath in through your nose. As you breathe in, allow the hand on your stomach to be lifted as high as possible without moving the hand placed on your chest then tighten your abdominals to force the air out through your mouth, your hand sinking toward your belly button .Repeat few times.
Minute 2: Hip Foam Rolling
Foam rolling is good for more than post-workout recovery. Excessive sitting can cause those muscles to become tight and inactive, leading to weaknesses and back pain.
Instructions: Sit on a foam roller and cross one leg over the opposite knee with your hands on the floor for balance, slowly move your body back and forth on the roller. Switch legs to repeat on the opposite side. Then, flip over facedown so that your pelvic area (the crease where your legs meet your torso) touches the roller. Use your hands to move your body along the roller, leaning to one side at a time to massage that area.
Minute 3: Supine Twist:
Twisting lengthens the spinal rotator muscles that attach one vertebra to the next and engages other muscles through the core and low back by waking these muscles, you prepare yourself for functional movement throughout the day, increase blood flow and stimulate the digestive organs.
One word of caution: If you often suffer from back pain, wait to perform any stretches until you’ve been awake for an hour or so.
Instructions: Lying faceup on the floor, hug both knees in toward your chest. Stretch one leg out on the floor in front of you. Keep your other leg bent and draw that knee across your body, allowing it to fall toward the floor. Extend your arms out to a “T” position and look to the opposite side of your knee. Take five to 10 deep, slow breaths. Return to center, hug both knees into your chest, and repeat on the other side.
Minute 4: Prone Press Up
This dynamic exercise engages the back muscles to prepare them to maintain proper posture throughout the day. It also opens up the front of your hips to alleviate tension in the hip flexor muscles and resulting back pain plus by targeting the rarely stretched abdominal muscles, it feels amazing.
Instructions: Begin with your forehead on the floor, hands under your shoulders, and elbows close to your body. Press your chest up so that you are looking straight ahead. Squeeze your triceps, back, hamstrings and glutes as you press up. It’s ok if your hips come off the floor slightly. Pause, lower down to the floor, and repeat.
Minute 5: Seated Forward Fold
By moving your spine through its full range of motion, you gently stretch the hamstrings to move well throughout the day. Plus, by engaging the postural muscles that make up your core and torso with, you develop your ability to maintain healthy posture throughout the day.
Instructions: Sit on the floor with your legs extended or slightly bent. Reach your arms straight out in front of you. Inhale through your nose and then, as you exhale through your mouth, round your spine forward (all the way up through your neck) then reverse the movement to return to start. Keep your core muscles engaged throughout the movement. Sit tall: Stack your ribs directly over your hips and your ears over your shoulders. Repeat.
What do you think about your morning ?
Do you stretch every day? How will you carve out five minutes in the morning for these exercises? What else do you do in the morning to prepare for a healthy day? There is nothing quite as wonderful as starting your day with these exercises.