It is amazing what even a little bit of exercise will do for you! Better circulation, better energy, better resistance against disease and so much more. Exercise is good for you because it makes you move, and movement is quite literally the secret ingredient of a healthy pain-free life. Yet we often do not do enough exercise for all kinds of reasons (most of them really just lame excuses).
The following is a simple stress-free way to develop an exercise habit – The Wake-Up Workout. It is quick, easy and effective and will get your body ready for the day. Do the workout every day before you get up, before getting out of bed.
Get Your Breath Going
Breathe in slowly and deeply through your nose and out again slowly through your lips. Let your stomach rise when you breathe in, let it drop when you breathe out. As you breathe, scan your body from your feet all the way up to your head. Wriggle your toes, turn your ankles, flex the muscles around your knees, squeeze your buttocks, tilt your pelvis back and forth, roll your shoulders, flex your elbows, and move your wrists and fingers. As you move your body parts, ask yourself how they feel, quietly observing any tension or stiffness that may be there. Continue breathing while gently moving your body parts for at least 10 deep breaths.
Low Back Stretch
While still laying on your back, pull your knees towards your chest one leg at a time and hold them there with your hands around your knees/shins. Pull the knees as far as you can until you feel a stretch in your low back. Hold them here while breathing in and out deeply. Relax your low back with every breath out. Repeat for 10 deep breaths.
Bend your knees so your feet are flat on the mattress about hip-width apart. Now lift your hips and pelvis until your upper body makes a straight line from shoulders to hips to knees. Hold this position for 15 seconds, then lower. Repeat 3-5 times. Keep breathing in through your nose and out through your lips as you do this.
Sciatic Nerve Floss
While still lying flat on your back with your legs straight, lift one knee towards your chest and grab your thigh with both hands. Pull your toes and ankle up as far as possible, then straighten your knee. You will feel a stretch in the back of the leg. Hold it for a few seconds then lower the knee. Repeat 10 times. Do the same for other leg.
Low Back Roll
This is the last exercise while lying on your back. Bend your knees and place both feet together. Now lazily drop the knees to the one side, then to the other. Repeat 10x to each side.
Turn onto your stomach. Now prop yourself up onto your elbows and lift your hips up from the mattress until your upper body makes a straight line from your feet to your shoulders. To make it a bit easier, rest on the knees instead of on the feet. Hold this position for 30 seconds, then lower your hips and rest for 5 seconds while still propped up on your elbows. Repeat 5 times.