Mad About Monday – Morning Stretches 1/9/12

I am mad crazy about morning stretches! Every single day I start out with a series of stretches that has made all the difference in how I feel throughout the day. I started doing this as physical therapy after my hip replacement in 2006. Once I was up and about I forgot about it until June of 2010 when I made my decision to get healthy. I started doing a couple of foot and ankle stretches and some leg exercises before I got out of bed.

Along came the Engine 2 diet with a set of Carl Sandburg Stretches* which I incorporated after I got up. I also added in a couple of functional exercises designed to strengthen my legs and upper body and quit doing the leg exercises while still in bed.

I started with just stretching and as I felt like doing more I added more. I don’t force myself to do a routine I hate; find stretching that feels good and stick with that.

Don’t know what to do? Here’s what I do most days:

10-15 minutes of exercise/stretch which includes: high steps, toe touching (sun salutation style), side bends, trunk twists, kick backs, barrel rolls, arm circles, kicking toe touches, diagonal lunges, reverse lunges, plank, pushups, seated dips, sit-ups and upright rows. I don’t do all of the exercises every day. I alternate plank/sit-ups, dips, pushups, rows/lunges, working arms one day and legs another.

Remember, I have no set routine; I do what feels good that day and somehow it works out to be more than I thought I’d do when I started out my high steps!

*You can find the Sandburg Stretches and some of the exercises on the Engine 2 website under Tools and Support. Another great source for the exercises is a 10 minute routine by Heidi Powell.

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