By Mary Ann Wilson, RN
If you wake up in the morning and your first thought is that you need a mechanic to “jump-start your body”, you’re not alone. Certain physiological changes take place in your body when you are sleeping:
• heart rate is slowed
• body temperature is lowered
• muscles become stiff
Consequently, when you wake up in the morning, these systems need a chance to ramp up and accelerate naturally. How can you put this new habit into practice?
First of all, give yourself permission to start the day at a turtle’s pace. Instead of dragging yourself out of bed and reaching for a stimulant like coffee to get “your motor” going, try a few easy bed exercises. Practice them every morning for one full week. Notice how you feel.
Also, when you are exercising, practice deep breathing. Breathing deeply activates the parasympathetic nervous system and consequently you will feel a sense of calm. What better way to start the day?
Above all, I want you to notice how much easier it is to “rise and shine” when you practice a few simple bed exercises first thing in the morning.
Jump Start Your Day With These Bed Exercises
- Head to Toe Stretch – stretch from head to toe by reaching up with both arms and stretching down through both feet.
- Lower Back Stretch – bring one knee to the chest. Hold and release. Repeat with other knee. Then bring both knees to chest. Don’t forget to breathe when you are holding the stretch.
- Foot Drops – lie on your back and bend your knees. Slide your feet up so they rest flat on the bed’s surface. Alternate lifting and dropping the toes, pumping the feet, as long as tolerated.
- Push up – roll to your side for your first push-up of the day. Place fists just under shoulder. Use triceps muscles to push up to a sitting position – with feet dangling over side of bed.
- Reaches – fully extend one arm forward (palm down) at shoulder height, then pull back as though opening a door. Repeat 2 – 3 times with each arm.
- Wrist and Ankle Circles – rotate your wrists and ankles in both directions.
- Head Turns – gently turn the head in all directions.
- Smile – take a final deep breath.
Now you’re ready for a great day! So, remember tomorrow morning, before you dash out of bed, slow down. Take a few minutes to jump start your day with easy bed exercises.
YouTube Video From Caregiver’s Workout
Click here for more bed exercises on YouTube.