Some days I feel incredibly old. Not in age or in my knowledge of modern music (although my millennial daughter may disagree) but in the way my body feels. There are mornings when everything is rusty and creaky.
You know what I mean: the stiffness and dull pain (and the grunts and moans that come with it) that come with waking up. These feelings often go away in about five or ten minutes. Some mornings are worse than others, and sometimes I wake up free of stiffness.
Why does stiffness occur in the morning?
“It’s not known why morning stiffness occurs, especially as people get older, but the only common thread is that it occurs after long bouts of inactivity,” says Dr. William Docken, rheumatologist at Brigham and Women’s Hospital at Harvard. “This is why you often feel so stiff when you wake up, because you are inactive for the longest uninterrupted time when you sleep.”
However, prolonged sitting time can also lead to stiffness, e.g. B. Watching TV, working on the computer or driving a car.
A simple remedy for stiffness
Set a timer on your phone or computer to remind you to move every 20 to 30 minutes to break long periods of sitting. Walk around your house or neighborhood, do some chores or even a short series of lunges, or march in place for a minute.
Another option is the following A-B-C routine. The three movements focus on the main stiff areas: shoulders, back and legs. Do this in the morning to loosen up, during your sitting breaks, or when you are feeling a little “ancient”.
A: Arm sweeps
Stand up straight with your feet together. As you inhale, sweep your arms to the side and toward the ceiling. As you exhale, sweep your arms back down. Repeat five to ten times.
B: back bend
Stand up straight with your feet slightly apart. Place your hands on your lower back with your fingertips facing down. As you inhale, roll your shoulders back and gently lift your chest toward the ceiling, arching your back to the point of comfort. You should be looking at the ceiling in front of you. (Be careful not to overstretch your neck.) Hold for three to five breaths. Release on exhalation. Do three to five repetitions.
C: Chair posture
Stand with your feet about shoulder width apart and your arms down. Raise your arms above your head. As you exhale, bend your hips and knees and lower yourself into a squat position (as low as you can comfortably) with your back straight. Hold for a few seconds and stand while lowering your arms to do one rep. Repeat the movement until you do five to 10 reps. You can also just raise your arms at chest level or keep your hands on your thighs so that you focus only on your lower body.