Stretching will:

Loosen muscles, preventing injury or sprains

Increase circulation
Increase balance and coordination
Boost awareness
Better posture
Prevent pain
Boost your mood!

3 Great Morning Stretches

Neck Stretch: First, get yourself in a well-balanced position, either sitting or standing. As you focus on keeping your neck straight, move the head forward as much as possible (do not jerk it, but rather move slowly). Repeat the movement but backwards (leaning your head back as much as possible). After loosening up, move your head in a clockwise motion, slowly and smoothly. (Note: Take precaution if you have a neck problem)

Shoulder Stretch: Next, work on loosening up your shoulders (which can be especially tense if you sleep on them). In the same balanced position, slowly lift your shoulders up to your hears slow and steady. Repeat. Another form is to fold your arms back to your shoulders (touching your shoulders with your hands). Put your elbows together and rotate your arms.

Hamstring Stretch: This is something all Americans need to do more of. Laying down, lift your legs up as high as you can, keeping them straight. While in this position, you can also work your hips by rotating your leg in a circular motion.

After 10-15 minutes of stretching, your body will be loosened up and ready for the day!

[Photo Credit: Yoga Inspiration; Editorial Credit: Organic Soul]