Take Control of Your Stiff and Achy Joints!
As we age, sore and stiff joints tend to become very common. Morning time is often the worst when it comes to achy joints. There are a few simple steps you can add to your morning routine to help “oil” those sore muscles and stiff joints.
Just as you open your eyes in the morning, consider taking a few slow, deep breaths. Circulation sometimes falls short throughout the night so being able to kickstart the circulation of oxygen throughout your body right when it wakes up helps to nourish those muscles and ligaments. After oxygen begins circulating, consider starting out with a few gentle movements. Overnight, the body does not move much, especially if you’re sleeping well. Begin by slowly bending and straightening the legs just far enough to wake the muscles up a bit. After you gently move the legs, gently move the arms. Slowly reach your arms up towards the ceiling, bend your elbows out to the side and then reach back and touch your head. Again, small, gentle movements are all it takes to get the body going in the morning.
When you feel comfortable enough, consider taking now a big, long stretch. Extend your legs as far as they will go while reaching your arms overhead and stretching them towards the headboard. Hold this position for a few seconds while continuing your deep breaths and then relax the muscles. Repeat this stretch a few times.
Next, is the lower back. One of the biggest aches people struggle with is in their lower backs. To alleviate this, slowly bring one knee at a time up to your chest and hug both of your legs. Breathing in and out remains important so that your body does not tense up when holding this stretch. While holding your legs to your chest, slowly move side to side to help elongate and relax the muscles in your back. As your low back starts to loosen, slowly lower the legs back down one at a time.
Another area of stiffness in the morning are the feet and ankles. These areas are specifically important because that is where we find stability. Our feet and ankles are the foundation we stand on, so when they are struggling to cooperate in the mornings, taking the time to get the blood flowing all the way down to those feet can make a world of a difference. Try pointing and flexing your feet right when you wake up.
It’s amazing what this quick wake-up routine can do for your body. Gradual movement in the morning can “oil up” those stiff, tight joints. Consider adding these few stretches to your morning routine and see how beneficial they can be to your body throughout the rest of your day!