Doing a little “gym in bed” is both practical and possible. Maintaining your muscle tone without leaving your comfy comforter might seem contradictory, but upon waking, a few simple exercises can help you stretch, relax your joints, and gently build a bit of muscle.
Here are some simple and effective routines, which, practiced daily, can promote well-being:
- Upon waking, take a minute to reflect on your strengths and the day ahead.
- Imitate a cat by stretching and yawning before sitting up.
- Put your knees on your stomach and hold them with your arms for 20 seconds; repeat before rising.
- Make contact with your environment, e.g., listen to the song of the birds, the traffic, neighbors waking, people walking by, etc.
- Sit back and enjoy the changing light filtering through the room.
A 15-20 minute gym session in bed
If you want to extend the session, here are some ideas for stretching and conditioning in bed.
Arms and legs
Stretch your arms and legs for five minutes, because during the day and even at night, our joints may tense up for various reasons. Stretching gently unlocks the joints and improves flexibility by promoting muscle elasticity.
Head and neck
Sit upright with your back against the pillow. Slowly let your head fall towards your right shoulder and then towards your left shoulder to stretch your neck. Try to go as far as possible without forcing it. Repeat.
Fingers, hands, wrists and forearms
This exercise opens the hands, which can close due to tension, fatigue, or age.
- While lying on your back, pull each finger, taking it between your thumb and index finger with the other hand. Repeat on the other hand.
- Then take the fingers of the right hand in the left hand, left thumb resting on the back of the right hand. Inhale, and, with the left hand, gradually press on the fingers of the right hand and maintain the pressure while you exhale. Reverse hands and repeat.
Face and neck
Often ignored, the muscles of the face and neck also need attention.
- Lie on your back and place your left hand above your left ear; inhale and push with your head on the left hand as you exhale, projecting as much as possible towards the left hand the entire skull including tight lips and look. Then change sides.
- Still on your back, place the fingers of both hands on your forehead, pushing your head to the pillow, inhale, then push your head against both hands as you exhale, closing your eyes tightly and bringing your mouth as close as possible to your nose.
These muscles are not regularly stressed and can benefit from some extra work.
- Lie on your back, bend your right arm towards your head and place your closed fist above the right shoulder, facing your face. Now grip the right fist with the left hand while inhaling, then exhale while trying to straighten your right arm against the resistance of the left arm. Reverse hands and repeat.
The bed is an ideal place to work your abs as long as the mattress is firm. If not, invest in a mattress pad that firms the mattress while making it more comfortable. (If your mattress is not firm, this exercise may hurt your back.)
- Lie on your back and take a deep breath while squeezing the abs and sitting up as slowly as possible. Go back down as soon as the abs are sufficiently contracted. Remember to keep your legs stretched out and firm, but not tense.
- Lie on the bed with your legs bent and your feet flat on the mattress. Lift the buttocks as high as possible then descend slowly without resting them. Try to do this exercise for five minutes every morning to see some improvement.
And now that your mini-workout is over, you can get out of bed and take on the day with a brilliant attitude. Do not be discouraged if the first sessions seem a bit long; once the exercises are well assimilated, you will need less time to get started and they will become a good morning habit.