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5 Morning Stretches That Will Instantly Boost Your Energy, Experts Say

Incorporate some flexibility into your morning routine, and help wake yourself up.

After a long night's sleep, our bodies often instinctively break out in a full-body stretch when we first wake up. But many of us don't think to follow that up with more movements. Allowing your muscles to warm up in the morning can positively affect how you feel throughout the rest of the day. From simple stretches to ones that may require a little more flexibility, we talked to experts to find out what you should be doing as part of your sunrise routine. Read on to discover five morning stretches that will instantly boost your energy.

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Cat-cow pose

Young yogi men practices yoga asana bitilasana or cat cow pose in urban studio.

Embracing your feline flexibility first thing in the morning can help you stay sharp for the rest of the day.

As Brandt Passalacqua, the founder, director, and lead teacher at Breathing Deeply Yoga Therapy, tells Best Life, the cat-cow pose works to stretch out and lengthen your spine, which "reduces stiffness in your back in the morning."

When your spine is activated and woken up, you may feel more energized instantly, according to Michael Jones, MS, a mobility specialist with over 15 years of practical experience in physical therapy and rehabilitation.

"The rhythmic arching and rounding of your back promotes spinal fluid circulation, which can help to kickstart your day," Jones explains.

Passalacqua adds, "The cat-cow pose is also great for stimulating your digestive system, which can give you more energy as well."

Downward dog

Yoga, exercise and senior woman in studio, class and lesson for wellness, body care and fitness. Sports, balance and elderly female doing downward dog pose for training, pilates and workout in gym

Cats and cows aren't the only animals you should be looking to for guidance: Downward dog is one of the most well-known yoga poses for a reason—it works.

"This is when you start on your hands and knees and slowly lift your hips and straighten your legs, while your hands and the balls of your feet remain on the ground," says Gina Iovenitti, an expert in exercise science who works in growth operations for cardiac and pulmonary rehab-based company Carda Health.

Iovenitti recommends holding the downward dog pose anywhere from 30 seconds to one minute for best results.

"Since this is an inverted pose, it encourages blood flow and energizes and calms the body down at the same time," she says. "It's great to practice in the morning or throughout the day when you need a boost of energy."

Chest opener stretch

Young sporty man smiling happy training at sport center.

Our bodies can often twist and turn during the night, even if we don't realize it. As a result, you may end up in hunched positions while you sleep, and that can cause you to feel more sluggish in the morning, according to Jones. Fortunately, you can easily reverse this with one simple stretch: the chest opener.

"Opening up your chest with this stretch can help correct your posture and allow for deeper, more energetic breaths," Jones says.

There are plenty of how-to videos online that can show you how this simple stretch is done.

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Standing-side stretch

Young Businesswoman Stretching Her Arms At Desk

Don't have enough time to pull out the yoga mat before work? Not to worry! The standing-side stretch can easily be done by your desk and will still make a world of difference when it comes to boosting your energy levels, according to Josh Petrawski, an exercise expert and CEO of Sports & Fitness Exchange.

"Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart and interlace your fingers above your head, palms facing upward. Take a deep breath in, lengthen your spine, and gently lean to one side, feeling the stretch along the opposite side of your body," he advises. "Hold for a few breaths, then repeat on the other side."

As Petrawski explains, the standing-side stretch helps open up your ribcage on both sides.

"By elongating the side body and stretching the intercostal muscles between the ribs, this stretch promotes deeper breathing and improved oxygenation," he says. "The expansion of the ribcage and increased lung capacity can help increase energy and alertness."

Child's pose

Yoga teacher in childs pose in front of class

Child's pose may not seem like much of an energy-inducing stretch compared to the others. But this resting position can actually do a lot of good for you in the morning, according to LS Wang, an experienced orthopedic surgeon and medical director of the Arete Ortho clinic.

As Wang explains, the child's pose may "help relieve tension and stress in the neck, back, and hips." This, in turn, can provide calmness to center your mind and body, which should make "you feel more energized," he says.

Best Life offers the most up-to-date information from top experts, new research, and health agencies, but our content is not meant to be a substitute for professional guidance. When it comes to the medication you're taking or any other health questions you have, always consult your healthcare provider directly.

Kali Coleman
Kali Coleman is a Senior Editor at Best Life. Her primary focus is covering news, where she often keeps readers informed on the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and up-to-date on the latest retail closures. Read more
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