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Stretching Your Joints and Muscles to Start the Day

By Stephen R. Farris

After a working hard all day, whether you're a construction worker, production worker, industrial worker, or work in an office, it's an easy bet to say that by the time you get home you're pretty exhausted. So after tending to your home routine and grabbing sustenance for your body, it's time to lay down and get some rest.

After all, your body is probably in aches and pains somewhere and usually the best thing for recovery is rest. However, the older we get, the more those aches and pains tend to linger on more than they did in our younger years.

So needless to say, it might take a little longer to get up and get going the next day. That's why it's important upon waking up to drink a glass of water, wipe the sleep from your eyes, and begin to stretch out those muscles and joints to wake them up and get the blood circulating. Plus, stretching can help reduce your chance of injuring your joints and muscles.

But we might not have to spend as much time stretching them out. What I mean is, your joints and muscles are basically warmed up, according to Dr. Beth Frates, director of wellness programming for the Stroke Research and Recovery Institute at Harvard-affiliated Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital. She says most stretching can be done before your feet even touch the floor.

Getting Started

  • Flex your lower limbs: knees, feet, ankles.
  • Next up: in a sitting position, shoulder shrugs and neck rolls.
  • Do bicep curls (without weights), and flex your wrists.

Next Up

One key thought to remember when stretching. No bouncing allowed, unless you want to take a chance on damaging a muscle. So here's a few stretching ideas after your feet hit the floor. Try to hold each stretch for at least 30 to 60 seconds, and make sure you rotate doing one side, then the other. Techniques for stretching can usually be found on the internet, or you can have your physician or chiropractor demonstrate how they should be performed.

  • Full body stretch while lying on the floor (resistance band optional).
  • Single knee pull (alternate).
  • Side-lying quadriceps stretch.
  • Hamstring stretch (resistance band encouraged).
  • Child's pose
  • Cobra

Now you should be warmed up and ready to last the entire day!

To learn more about your health, wellness and fitness, see your local chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractic in Charlotte, N.C.

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