Feeling stiff upon waking up and often experience pain in different muscles of your body? Learn and start practicing the morning stretch routine to avoid muscle stiffness and damage.
In the freelancing world, this is understood that the work to be done is on a laptop or computer while sitting. Prolong use of screen damages eye health while prolong sitting not only make your lifestyle sluggish but also responsible for your muscles and bone weakness.
Prolong sitting leads to serious problems such as Deep venous thrombosis can also be taken place. Especially bad sitting posture leads to back and vertebral disc-related issues as well which I will discuss in my next coming article. To avoid your muscles to get stiff, weakened, and lazy, as a freelancer, you must include basic stretches in your lifestyle.
How Prolong Sitting Affect Muscles?
You may feel relaxed for sitting a major part of your day and sometimes you need to sit for prolonged periods due to work if you are a freelancer. But in either way, you feel relaxed but your muscles and joints are facing the bad effects of your actions.
Lack of activity for prolonged periods leads to putting pressure and stress on muscles and joints especially while sitting. Your body is made for functioning in most parts of the day and this is how your heart, your gut, your mind, and your muscles remain healthy all the time. When you go against nature the effects will be reversed.
In prolonging sitting not only your activity will be less but your muscles and veins become stiff, your blood circulation will be lower and hence it may lead to swelling independent areas such as your feet and your glutes.
Muscles of your legs, your back, and glutes will become stiff and it may lead to muscle weakness and pain in them and they will be more prone to injuries than usual.
The worst and major problem due to prolonged sitting is when discs in the middle of your vertebrae start to slide due to the excessive pressure they starting bulging if it persists leads to herniation because muscles around it will be weak and unable to hold it from bulging or herniating.
Deep venous thrombosis is another serious and major problem with prolonged sitting. When there is less activity or no activity for prolong periods of time you will get less blood circulation and there will be pooling of blood in the veins of the legs. A clot might form in any leg veins and occlude it, if it dislodged from there it went into the lungs causing a life-threatening pulmonary embolism.
Why Morning Stretch Routine Is Beneficial and Prevent Muscle Damage?
Not only including exercise in your daily routine leads you out from problems of prolonged sitting. Because you may exercise for say 1 hour daily for 5 days straight but if you sit for the next 12 hours on the couch the problem will be still the same.
Research shows that standing for 30 minutes each hour will help produce better health benefits, so the solution to the problem is simple you move every single hour sometime.
Exercise is not yet neglected here as studies show that 60 to 90 minutes of exercise a day can reverse major adverse effects of prolonged sitting.
But here we are talking about how stretching helps muscles and prevent them from damage, especially the morning stretch routine. Here’s why:
- Your muscle will become more flexible.
- Muscles end up strong and healthy.
- Your range of movement will increase.
- The joints will become strong.
- You will be more vulnerable to injury.
- Your balance will improve and you can avoid falls.
- Bloodstream to your muscles will be improved.
- Helps to reduce muscle aches if you have any
- Also helps you with sustaining proper posture.
- Stress relief and reduce depression.
What To Include In Morning Stretch Routine?
There are different types of stretches but today I will discuss 2 to include in your morning stretch routine.
Hold the stretch or position for 15-30 seconds.
They are more of the progressive movement that makes stretch on muscle, without holding in the end.
THINGS TO REMEMBER FOR EVERY STRETCH
- Work on your breathing. Keep inhaling through the nose and release it through the mouth.
- Do all movements slowly and gradually.
- Hold the pose for 15-30 seconds.
- Don’t force yourself to do till the point you can easily do it.
- When releasing the position do it slowly.
The 12 Minutes Morning Stretch Routine
As a freelancer, it’s difficult for you to keep on your time track. As you freelance and not on 9-5 job and hence have no fixed timings for work. You can’t keep the same time for a stretch I understand. But I will recommend doing it first thing in the morning. When you wake up your muscle are stiff and the need to stretch. I am telling you below 12 simple stretches especially for your back, spine, hips, and legs.
1. COBRA STRETCH POSE
- Lie on your stomach.
- Fix your hands underneath your shoulder level.
- Put your elbows by your sides.
- Raise your head and chest, keeping your hips on the ground.
2. CHILD’S STRETCH POSE
- Place your ankles under your hips.
- Your knees facing forward and outward.
- Bend forward on your thighs touching your chest.
- Relax your arms forward straight.
- Bend and relax your head towards the ground in direction of your knees.
3. DOWNWARD DOG POSE
- Rests on the ground on your stomach.
- Straight your arms and push the ground.
- Raise your hips and legs above the ground.
- Raise your heels above the ground and stand on toes.
- Roll your shoulders down and back.
- Keep your spine straight.
4. WARRIOR POSE
- Stand up neutral.
- Stretch your legs side by side.
- Bend the knee of your forward leg.
- Twist your torso towards your bended knee.
- Stretch your torso backward.
- Raise your hands above your head and backward.
5. FORWARD BENDING
- Stand upright on your feet.
- Raise your hands above your head.
- Slowly bring your hands downwards towards your ankles.
- Place them ok your knees, your feet, or on the ground as per your comfort level.
- Slowly back u from the position.
6. HIP BRIDGE
- Lie on your back on the ground.
- Place your hands on the level of shoulders on the ground.
- Relax your back and hips
- Slowly raise your hips and thighs above the ground and hold.
- Come back down slowly.
7. KNEES UP TO CHEST
- Lie on the ground on your back.
- Bring your knee to your chest by folding.
- Help your knees with your hands.
- Hold then release slowly.
8. SPINAL TWIST
- Sit comfortably on the ground.
- Straighten both of your legs.
- Put your one leg over to the opposite leg on the ground.
- Gently roll your back towards the side and back.
- Go as far as you can.
- Come back to neutral slowly.
9. NECK MUSCLE STRETCH
- Sit in an upright position.
- Move your neck on the left try to touch your left ear on your left shoulder.
- Using your arms help.
- Do it on the right side with the same method.
- Can be done for the front and back of the neck with the same stretch.
10. SIDE STRETCH
- Stand with your feet hip-width apart.
- Clasp your hands above your head.
- Gently lean your body to one side.
- Move back up then repeat for another side.
11. QUADRICEPS STRETCH
- Stand straight.
- Hold onto the wall with the right hand.
- Reach and snatch your left foot with your left hand.
- Pull your left foot above towards hip and stretch your quadriceps.
- Repeat for another side.
12. HAMSTRING STRETCH
- Sit on the floor
- Bend one knee.
- Put the opposite leg straight on the floor, toes pointing to the ceiling.
- Bend your upper body forward reach for your outright feet.
- Repeat for the opposite leg.
Lastly, for your health as a freelancer, not only stretch routine but overall nutrition and lifestyle modifications will help. But if you include this 12 minutes morning stretch routine in your day this will positively impact your health.