Do you deal with morning stiffness or joint discomfort?
Stiff joints can occur in the morning due to a tough workout the day before, because of joint problems you have, or simply because you’re growing older. For most people, that stiffness eases up and goes away over time, but it’s no fun to deal with for the first hour or so.
If you find yourself moving with difficulty, moving slowly, or having a tough time getting out of bed in the morning, you’re not alone. The good news – there are some things you can do when you wake up to loosen up your joints so you can get moving sooner.
The next time you feel like the Tin Man when you wake up, try one or more of these tips to get your body in motion.
1. Do Some Gentle Stretches
Before you even get out of bed, you can start doing some gentle stretch to help get those joints moving.
Lay on your back and gently stretch your upper body. Move joints carefully to get them moving. Slowly move your head from side to side to help loosen your neck. Then work on stretching your shoulders, elbows, wrists, and hands. Move down to your lower body, moving and stretching your hips, knees, ankles, and toes.
Once your joints feel a little looser, you can get up and do some more gentle morning stretches outside of your bed.
Great stretches to try include:
- Child’s Pose
- Calf Stretches
- Hip Flexor Stretch
- Low-back Stretch
- Standing Quads Stretch
- Downward Dog
- Trunk Twist
2. Take a Warm Shower or Bath
Heat gets your blood moving and can soothe stiff joints. Try taking a warm shower or bath after you get out of bed for 10-20 minutes. Gently moving your joints while you soak helps to loosen up your joints further.
If you aren’t able to get out of bed right away, you can try a hot pack or electric blanket, too!
Heat can give you a head start in combating morning stiffness.
3. Eat a Nutritious Breakfast
Not only does your body need energy to fuel the various processes it undergoes throughout the day, but it also needs nutrients to build up and keep your joints’ cells healthy.
While it may seem silly that eating can help your morning joint aches, a nutritious breakfast filled with healthy fats, protein, and antioxidants go a long way in supporting overall bone and joint health.
4. Put Warm Clothes On
Similar to the concept of a warm shower or bath, throwing your clothes into the dryer for a few minutes before you get dressed is another way to apply heat directly to your body. Plus, it’s more convenient and faster than showering or preparing a bath.
Keep in mind, the heat will dissipate faster!
5. Keep on Moving
When you’re feeling stiff and achy, the last thing you want to do is move… but, movement throughout the day keeps your muscles and joint tissues warm and pliable.
Medical News Today notes that even five minutes of exercising each day has a calmative effect on joints.
If you sit a lot at work or home, taking a 10- to 15-minute walk every couple hours is a great way to “wake” your body up. (You’ll probably find that it’s a distraction that your mind needs, too!)
The more you move, the better you’ll feel. So, take the time to move!