Thursday, June 9, 2011

Gentle morning stretches to energize your day

Picture taken from here

Stretching early in the morning immediately after waking up has benefits for your body, mind and soul.

After sleeping for hours, your muscles tend to become stiff and tight. Early morning stretches help to loosen and realign your muscles. This is also a gentle way to increase blood flow to your entire body and calmly help your body and mind to switch from a rested state to a woken state.

Stretching can increase flexibility, improve circulation and contribute to your sense of well-being.

Since it’s an extremely difficult task for most people to wake up a little earlier, just to slot in a mere 10-15 minute stretching, it is always good to have a pre-set of physical postures or poses, so that you can continue to relax or dream on while you practice the stretching without interruption in the movements.

Here are two highly recommended sites, which I found to be extremely good.

1) Yoga Stretches
For people who prefers a gentle stretching routine, yoga style, click here for the video instruction.

                                           Picture taken from Yoga Journal - May 2011 Edition

You can ignore the breathing coordination that coincide with each movement, but do remember to breathe deeply, slowly and continuously.

Initially, you WILL have problem remembering all the sequential poses. Here is what you can do. For the first week, do the first and second pose. Then incorporate the third and fourth pose once you think you are able to take on more challenge.

I've always preferred the yoga series of twelve physical postures, as these alternating backward, forward bend movements, often with some twist and side tilts postures flex and stretch the spinal column through their maximum range, giving a profound stretch to the entire body.

However, if you feel that the entire 12 posture series is too long or too tedious for you, you can practice up till pose no 3 (the downward dog pose) and remain in that pose for a full 2-3 minutes before you wrap up with child pose. It would be better if you could practice up till pose 6 at least. Don't forget to switch sides.

2) Pilates Poses
For people who doesn’t mind a bit of pilates exercise routine, for just 5 simple poses.

Always remember to change sides to ensure there is balance

You can click here for further instructions

Picture taken from here. Click here for further instructions too

Picture taken from here

Picture taken from here

Once you're done, even for 5 minutes, congratulate and reward yourself with a healthy home made breakfast followed by a cold refreshing shower!

Here's a healthy breakfast suggestion - the breakfast parfait! It consist of low fat yoghurt with cereal, nuts, seeds, fruits and oat (last item is optional). It's easy and quick to prepare. Buy those cereal that contains 45% of nuts and seeds, so that you just need to prepare the fruits.

Not your cup of tea? Have a smoked salmon and egg sandwich instead then.

                                                   Picture taken from here

Mexican burritos. Click here for more healthy and appetizing options

Have a great day!


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