Morning Movement: why it’s important for your joints to move every morning
Morning movement and gentle stretching can be extremely beneficial for your body. Lets take the simple actions of our cats and dogs for example. Every time they wake up from a nap they take the time to stretch their body before they get up and move. So, if these animals insist on doing this every time they get up, shouldn’t we assume that there is something to this? Why do so many of us ignore the urge to stretch when we get up in the morning? Is it because we just “don’t have time?”
Each day we do things to stress our body whether we choose to run everyday, or we are stuck at a desk for 8 hours. Regardless of our routines, we all put some type of strain on our joints by the actions we take during each day. At the end of the day we lie down and go to sleep for the night. Over the course of the night our joints and the discs in our spine fill up with fluid, which makes us feel stiff and tight in the morning. By doing just a few stretches each morning we can get our joints moving and release some of the excess fluid that has been built up overnight making us feel more limber with less stiffness.
Since most mornings are hectic it can seem daunting to make time for stretching. This is where I would suggest doing half sun salutations each morning. The movements in a sun salutation provide an easy way to get your body moving without taking up a lot of time.
Benefits of Sun salutations:
- Incorporates total body range of motion promoting good joint mobility and congruency
- Elongates important large muscle groups in the body decreasing stress on the joints they surround
- Improves posture by finding alignment and length first thing in the morning
- Gets the heart pumping first thing in the morning helping to improve energy levels for the day ahead
Below is the link to a description of how to do a basic half sun salutation. So, lets take a vow this month and try to do 3 sun salutations every morning. I promise, just by doing a few simple stretches each morning your body will feel less stiff and you will move easier during your day!