Stretching before getting out of bed

When I was a kid, an iconic on-the-horizon goal for the then supposed good life was breakfast in bed. The dream was a very leisurely start for the day, one with as little activity as possible.

A lazy child and a relatively inactive teen, I reflected my environment. As the years went by, action filled that vacuum. Now, I do my first set of exercises before I get out of bed. I circle my feet first in one direction and then the other, this way warming up the ankles. I point my toes forward and then pull them as close to my shins as possible, stretching the calves and the connective tissue in the foot. (When I was bothered by plantar fasciitis, this calf-foot stretch made putting weight on the foot a whole lot less painful.) Finally, I stretch the legs by bringing each knee to my chest and then the same with each ankle.

By beginning the day with this stretching routine, I find that I’m not so stiff when I get out of bed. Also, when I do the more challenging stretches and vigorous exercises an hour or so later, these are easier to go through.