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To your health

Morning Stretching

02/01/2008 - Howdy! Well it's time again for another adventure in "Get Your Body Out of Bed"! I hope those initial stretches are helping and please try not to overdo them. Now we are going to change things. Instead of focusing on stretching we are going to work on motion. In a way this new exercise is a form of stretching, but in a more dynamic sense.

Again, our bodies are made for motion. You may not realize it, but we don't move around like we should. Over the years as we age our bodies will start to lose some flexibility. We need flexibility to maintain joint health. Contrary to popular commercials which seem to promise renewed joint motion in response to taking a supplement, a joint is only as good as its motion. The supplement provides nutrients to the joint but you still have to move it.

So let's start this new exercise after performing the stretches (from parts 1-3 of this article series) lying down. The position will be sitting up on the edge of the bed with feet flat on the floor.

A) Sit upright. Try not to slouch because it will allow the joints in the lower back to

be in a better position with less weight bearing stress for the exercise.

B) Raise arms to shoulder level with elbows out to the side. If you cannot raise your

arms that high due to problems with your shoulder(s), raise them as comfortably as


C) Start with your head and rotate (twist) your head and body fully to one side, then

the other.

D) Rotate fully with a continuous, fluid motion. DO NOT do this fast because it

creates too much intense torsional stress on your spinal joints.

E) Perform this exercise 20-25 times to each side.

Now you may be asking, "What are the benefits of this exercise?" Well, they are:

1)It warms the muscles by pulling blood into the back area.

2)It stretches the muscles gently.

3)Most importantly, it pulls fluid and nutrients into the joints by a physiological process. You don't need to know the name of it. Just remember to do the exercise.

Very rarely does this exercise cause any problems for my patients if they do it correctly. If you have any problems, contact your chiropractor or physical therapist. Now this exercise will take about 30 to 45 seconds, so we are still under five minutes for the entire routine. Well, that's it for this month. We still have one more exercise that I feel is necessary for the early morning jump start to the body. So, until next time, see ya!

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