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LuckyGuy's avatar

Do you exercise and stretch your joints before you get out of bed in the morning?

Asked by LuckyGuy (29403 points ) April 27th, 2014

I do. While I am still warm, under the covers I start flexing my toes, then rotating my ankles, then my knees, then pretend I’m riding a bicycle, then….and work my way all the way up. Heck, I even close my eyes and rotate them in circles 10 times in each direction. It only takes about 1 -2 minutes and when I get out of bed I’m not all stiff like a whole lot of guys my age (~60). I’ve been doing it for as long as I can remember.
If/when I get up to use the bathroom in the middle of the night upon returning to bed I will do kegel exercises a few times.
I’m in pretty good shape and feel great. When I get out of bed I’m running on all cylinders. I cannot tell which is the cause and which is the effect.
I’ve never seen any recommendation from a credible source extolling the virtues of what I call “no load exercise and stretching”. It just seems to make sense to me.
Am I the only person on the planet who does this?

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20 Answers

chyna's avatar

Does this disturb your wife or does she join in with your flexing?

LuckyGuy's avatar

It doesn’t disturb anyone. (I’ve never had any complaints, anyway.) That is the beauty of it. The bed doesn’t shake. There is no noise or huffing and puffing. It is just moving joints a little before putting them under full load. Also by rotating my eyes in full circles while in the dark and in bed I don’t get motion sickness or lose my balance and my eyes are not all dry and stiff when I do get up.
Think about it. How much motion does wiggling your toes make? Or moving your ankles or slowly moving your legs from fetal position to straight out and back? Or kegeling. It’s nothing.
I just figure it gets the juices flowing.

JLeslie's avatar

I sometimes stretch my calf muscles by flexing my feet if I am fearful I might get a Charlie horse, but I don’t regularly stretch before getting out of bed.

Cruiser's avatar

I let my wife do that for me. ;)

LuckyGuy's avatar

@Cruiser But that’s only one joint. :)

@JLeslie. That is great for plantar fasciitis, or (jogger’s heal) too.

I don’t know why this is not in the operator’s manual that came with our bodies.

cookieman's avatar

Yes, similar to you (minus the eye rolling).

I also stretch and do toe-touches in the shower.

LuckyGuy's avatar

@cookieman I don’t exercise in the shower (unless you count starting and stopping my stream.) It seems too dangerous.
I noticed the eye rolling really extended my range of motion. During the day we spend so much of our time with our eyes pointed virtually straight ahead, I figure this gives them a chance to stretch. And I don’t have to worry about getting dizzy.

ucme's avatar

No, that’s for creaky old men.
My wake up routine mostly consists of one big stretch out, a spot of spooning with the wife & then i’m good to go.

LuckyGuy's avatar

That’s what I’m talking about. I’m not creaky at all. Is it those movements or am I just lucky to have healthy joints?

Pandora's avatar

I do stretch in the morning and sometimes before bed. I think it has helped with aching muscles. I started do it because I was waking up in the mornings stiff and aching. Then I remembered that I would stretch for a long time in the morning every morning when I was a kid. You see babies and children do this naturally. As we get older we just jump out of bed. Our blood pressure drops as we sleep so our muscles don’t get proper oxygen. I think it is necessary to get the circulation going a little before jumping out of bed and making all our muscles move. According to this link, you should stretch and flex your muscles for about 30 seconds each. http://www.livestrong.com/article/355285-why-do-you-stretch-after-sleeping/

dxs's avatar

I don’t stretch that much. I just stretch my arms and legs and that’s about it. If I rolled my eyes 20 times, I think I’d get a headache.

LuckyGuy's avatar

@Pandora Do you perform your stretches while you are still under the covers? That is how I have been doing them.

@dxs You don’t have to roll them 20 times. While in bed try doing just one complete circle in each direction. I’m willing to bet you’ll find some tight, dry spots. They will disappear after a couple of days.

LuckyGuy's avatar

I tried to remember when I started and it came to me! I was a kid and watched a Twilight Zone called I Sing the Body Electric from 1962. At about 17:50 the grandmother wakes up by moving first her fingertips, then her fingers, then her hand etc. I liked it. 50+ years later, I still remember the scene.

hearkat's avatar

I have Rheumatoid Auto-immune Disease, so I stretch all through the day and night, and have to sleep with my hands extended so they don’t ball up. Bilateral plantar fasciitis was my first presenting symptom of the disease, so I have the boot to keep the feet flexed, but I am controlled fairly well with medication now, so I can just stretch and don’t need it. Supportive socks and shoes have also made a tremendous difference.

JLeslie's avatar

@hearkat I’m sure I must have asked you this, do you check your vitamin D? What you describe sounds similar to the problems I was having and other people I know who get trememdous relief from keeping our D up above 40.

livelaughlove21's avatar

No. The only routine stretching I do is after a workout.

elbanditoroso's avatar

I don’t – I usually need to move quickly to point Percy at the porcelain.

However, ones the excretory function is complete, I stretch my arms and legs.

hearkat's avatar

@JLeslie – As noted, I am fairly well-controlled with medications (including supplements); I see no need to derail this thread with details about my personal medical history.

Coloma's avatar

Yes, yes, absolutely yes!
I pull up my knees and rock to stretch out my back, I then stretch my shoulders by hugging myself and rolling around, haha,roll my neck around on my pillow and then, I do side ways hip stretches, bend my knees and rotate my hips/upper thighs back and forth.
A few weeks ago overslept and was 15 minutes late to work, I jumped out of bed in a panic and totally wrenched my neck and upper back. It sucked, what a shitty way to start the day.

Pandora's avatar

It depends on if my husband stole the covers or if I kicked them off because I was too warm. In the winter, I will usually stretch while I’m under the covers. Too scared to face the cold. In the summer, I think I start my stretches before I’m even really up. I try to spread my limbs as far away from me as possible in an attempt to cool off.

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