3 easy steps for walking up with energy.
By Jeff Kessler
1) While lying in bed, roll to your back and take in three deep breaths.
It does not matter if you breathe through your nose or mouth as long as you inhale deeply and exhale slowly. Do this 3 times with a bigger breath each time. If you really want to take this exercise to the next level, as you release your air…hum. Why? It helps to stimulate your internal organs. Hum soft or loud, it makes no difference and actually can be fun. The best part of applying this breathing technique is you can implement it into any part of your day. Yes, it helps to stimulate and wake you up, but it is also a great tool for relaxing during stressful situations. Try it on your commute, at work or even standing in line at the grocery store. Breathing does wonders for your body and mind.
2) 5 Minute Meditation/Affirmation.
There are many ways to self-meditate. One of my favorites is using affirmations and positive self-talk to achieve my goals. Siting, standing or laying down all work, but make sure to be comfortable and in a place with no distractions. With eyes open or closed say to yourself, or out loud, four thoughts such as:
- I am happy.
- I am healthy.
- I am alive.
- I am thankful for who I am and all that I have.
If your mind drifts off, and it will, all is good. Do not get mad or frustrated just say it’s OK. It is normal. Take a deep breath and get back to it.
Your 5 minutes will be over in a blink of an eye, feeling like just seconds. If you wish, extend the time longer. The point is to take time for yourself. You will feel good, refreshed and ready to start the day.
3) Still from your bed… stretch.
It doesn’t have to be a crazy 30-minute stretching ordeal. To start out, keep it simple. Just do about 3 or 4 stretches. I propose 10 here, but they are just ideas for you to explore. Feel free to mix and match as you like or do 3 or 4 of your own. More and more studies are coming out about how important it is to stretch. It also offers psychological benefits for stress relief and anxiety.
Examples of stretching you can do while in bed:
- While lying on your back bring your knees to your chest, wrap both arms around your legs and hug them for a count of 30. You do not have to pull your legs in tightly. Just relax back into it and breathe. You will feel this in your back and glutes.
- Open your hips by putting the bottoms of your feet together, spreading your knees down as far as they can go comfortably. Never push or force your body to go further than it can handle. You can do this from a sitting or a lying down position. Again, just breathe, relax and feel the stretch. Count to 30 and release. The biggest tip to remember to breathe.
- Ankle Circles. Rotate your feet inwards in a circular direction 10 to 15 times and then outwards 10 to 15 times. Go back and forth as many times as you desire. You will be surprised how amazing this feels. What’s great about this stretch is you can do it at work under your desk, at a traffic light, sitting or standing and unload all of the tension you feel throughout your legs.
- I love this stretch. Lay on your back. Keep one leg straight, bend the other leg until your foot reaches the knee of the straight leg. Take the bent leg and drape it over your straight leg. Stretch your arms out wide, at shoulder height, comfortably. Turn your head the opposite direction than the bent leg is facing and count to 30 and then switch legs.
- In Yoga they call this, “Happy Baby” pose. Lay on your back. Bring your knees up and spread them comfortably apart. With your elbows inside of your legs, reach to your big toe and gently and hang on. Now, rock side to side for 30 rocks. Another great 1 for your back and feels incredible.
- From a seated position, legs comfortably in front of you (crossed or straight) take one arm and bring it around the front of you and across your chest until your bicep touches your body and breathe comfortably, for 30 seconds. Release gently and switch arms.
- Take your arm, bring it up over your head, and bend at the elbow so your hand reaches down the center of your back. Switch arms after 30 seconds.
- Another yoga pose, “Cat Stretch”. Get on all 4’s, knees directly under hips and hands straight down below your shoulders. Now, exhale as you bow your back as far as you can, letting your head rest comfortably down as you tuck in your bottom. Inhale to counter that movement arching you back down, raising your head and hips and breathe. Repeat for around 10 breaths with a 5 second hold in either position.
- Feeling wild? Get out of bed and do those good old, fun toe touches. WAIT! Don’t overdo it. Just relax down and let gravity work for you. Hands hanging down freely, it’s all good. You do not have to push. Count to 30 and breathe.
- Now, that you are standing, work your neck a bit. Look down. Look up. Look left than right. Do these 5 to 10 times.
Well, look at that! You are standing, feeling good and ready to start your day.
Go get’em tiger!
Quick Side Note – Start out easy. Less is more until it becomes a habit. As time goes on, if you wish, increase the intensity, length of hold time, or repetitions you do. Progress slowly and naturally. Your body will tell you when you need more or less. Each day will be different so just go with the flow and enjoy your, “Me time”.
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