It’s not the workout that’s hard for me to do—it’s the stretching. Since I’ve already put in the time to pump up my muscles, I find it hard to spend any more time at the gym to stretch everything out afterwards… even though I know how important it is to do so. My dream scenario? Being able to stretch in bed.
And dreams do come true: Alicia Archer, fitness instructor and creator of Kinky Sweat in New York City, has shown Well+Good just how to do full-body stretches in bed. Added bonus? Doing these stretches can help you fall asleep even faster.
In the latest video for our “Self-Care Nation” series, Archer reveals that this routine is especially useful for those who hit the gym after work. “A lot of people, when they workout in the evening, they become energized and it’s hard for them to fall asleep,” she says. “It sets the body and mind in a very dynamic, energetic state of mind.” So it’s important (and extremely helpful) to wind your body and mind back down before you hit your pillow.
All it takes to get you limbered up and ready for dreamland is moves like neck and shoulder rolls, figure-4 hip openers (which are a lot more comfy in bed), side bends, and some self-massage action. “The most important thing you can do is align your movements with your breath,” Archer says. “When you focus on coordinating your breath with your movement, it puts you in a focused state of mind that’s very calming.”
Performing self-massage on areas like your neck, temples and trap muscles can really help ease your state of mind, allowing it to prep for a solid night of sleep. “Massage is said to induce relaxation, especially done in a very non-aggressive way,” she says. “Basically, your bed can turn into a massage table—that’s really what this is about.” Sounds dreamy, and even watching the bed stretching routine is making me sleepy. Another added perk of doing this in bed is that it’s easier on your joints—so you won’t have that painful hip bone-on-floor sensation. Consider this easy stretching regimen the one I’ll happily be dedicated to.
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