While being over 40 brings tons of fabulous benefits, it can also mean stiff, creaky joints when you wake in the morning. Becoming less flexible as you age is completely normal, but it’s generally a sign that you need more daily activity in your life.
Luckily, minor stiffness, muscle tightness and discomfort upon rising can be relieved with gentle stretching. Here are 4 moves to increase the blood flow to your muscles for an easier, smoother start to your day:
Exercise #1: Bent Arm Wall Stretch
Stand next to a doorway with your left foot forward and right foot back. Extend your right arm at the shoulder, bending your elbow so your palm is facing upwards on the wall and gently move forward.
You’ll feel the stretch right in your chest area. Switch sides and repeat with your left arm. You’ll feel better instantly.
Exercise #2: Lower Back Stretch
Give your lower back a break with this one. Start by lying flat on your back while bending your knees. Wrap both hands underneath your left knee and pull it toward your chest while keeping your other foot flat on the floor. Hold for at least 30 seconds, then repeat with your right knee.
Complete the stretch by bringing both knees up to your chest.
Exercise #3: Trunk Twist Stretch
You may remember this move from gym class, but the trunk twist is a great stretch to loosen up your back and shoulders.
Stand with your hips shoulder width apart and hold both arms out wide so they’re at shoulder level. Then simply twist from side to side, keeping your hips in place.
Exercise #4: Wall Push Stretch
Charley horses in your calves are common in the morning. One way to fix this is to perform wall push stretches.
Put your hands on the wall while you bring one foot behind you, straightening that leg while your other foot comes slightly forward. Keep the heel of the front foot on the floor. Switch leg positions and repeat. Ahhh … feels good, right?
Hold each stretch for at least 30 seconds for best results. Now you’re ready for a cup of coffee. And while you’re sipping your cup of morning joe, subscribe to the Gurl U R Not Alone newsletter to get more health and wellness tips so you can live your most fabulous midlife.