The first thing you should do when you get out of bed is move— and not towards your smartphone. “A good, morning stretch is one of the best ways to center your thoughts before you check those e-mails or grab your first cup of coffee,” says New Jersey-based personal trainer, Victoria Goyins. Below, she offers her ‘Salute the Sun’ series that will leave you refreshed and energized for the day ahead.
Sit on the side of the bed, place one hand on your abdomen, one hand on your heart. Inhale through the nose, feeling your belly expand. Exhale through nose or mouth, feeling belly contract. Take 10 deep breaths this way.
Stand up. With feet hip distance apart, reach your arms overhead. Grab your right wrist and gently lean your body to the left. Pretend you are between two panes of glass that will break if you lean too far forward or back. Hold for 4 deep breaths. Repeat on your left side.
With feet still hip distance apart, bring your right leg up onto a block or a low chair. Flex your right foot and lean slightly forward. Hold for 4 deep breaths. Repeat on your left side.
With feet still hip distance apart, bend both knees and reach down for your right ankle, foot or pants. Keep the right knee bent and pointed toward the floor. Maintain a good, tall posture, and hold on to something if you need support. Hold for 4 deep breaths. Repeat on your left side.
With feet still hip distance, reach both arms high to ceiling, relaxing your shoulders down. Slowly walk your hands down the front of your body, hinge at the hips and allow your body to just hang. Place hands on thighs if you need support or if you have lower back issues. While in this position, gently nod your head ‘yes’ and ‘no’. Hold for 3 deep breaths. Walk your hands back up your torso to standing.
Note: Consult a doctor or healthcare provider before beginning any sort of fitness program.