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Morning Stretches to Start Your Day

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When you're struggling to make your way out of bed, your first instinct might be to reach for a cup of coffee. However, there are other ways to jumpstart your morning that don't involve caffeine. Perform some of these stretches the moment you wake up, and not only will you get an added jolt, but you'll also prepare your muscles for all of the day's activities.

Good Morning Butterfly
Sit on the ground with your legs outstretched in front of you. Bring the bottoms of your feet together and bend your knees, bringing your feet in toward you and holding them with your hands. Push your elbows down on your knees and feel the light stretch in your thighs. Breathe deeply and hold for a count of 10.

Morning Twist
If you were sleeping on your back all night, you'll want to include this movement in your morning routine. Sit on the ground and cross your right leg over your left and bring your right knee to your chest. Using your left elbow to push off your right knee, twist your body so you feel the stretch in your back. You might even crack it slightly. Repeat on the other side. 

Do a back bend when you wake up to get the blood flowing.Do a back bend when you wake up to get the blood flowing.

Early Riser
There's nothing more satisfying than a slow backbend when you wake up. Doing so will stretch your stomach and get your blood flowing immediately. Lay comfortably on your back and curl your arms so your palms are resting on the ground. Bend your knees so your feet are also firmly planted on the ground, then push up your torso. Hold the pose for as long as you'd like, and if you can, gently rock back and forth to stretch your muscles even further.

"Stretching is important after being curled up all night."

Reach for the Sky
Grab a towel, bathrobe or any long article of clothing. Grab one end with your right hand and drape the towel behind your back. With your left hand, reach back and grab the other end. Slightly pull down on the towel with your left hand so you feel the stretch in your right shoulder. Hold for a count of 10 and repeat on the opposite side. After a long night of being curled up, this is a great stretch to loosen your muscles and get ready for the day ahead of you.