Fresh Start to Fitness: Stretches for a good night's sleep

Fresh Start 2 Fitness

(KUTV) One of the most important things we can do for our bodies is getting a good night's sleep, says Jeffrey Beck, exercise specialist with Intermountain Medical Center Heart Institute in Murray. However, sometimes our quality of sleep suffers because of lingering stress from the day. Beck recommends doing these stretches before bedtime to help you wind down:

1) Rag Doll: Stand with feet hip-width apart, knees slightly bent. Place your right hand on left elbow, left hand on right elbow. Bend over from hips, letting your arms and head hang down. Hold for 30 seconds and then return to starting position. Do this 2-3 times.

2) Figure Four Stretch: Lie on your back with knees bent, feet flat on the floor. Lift your left leg and cross your left ankle over the right knee. Reach hands around right leg to meet under the thigh. Draw your right thigh toward you while keeping your torso pressed against the floor. Hold for 30 seconds and then switch sides. Do this 2-3 times per leg.

3) Abdominal Stretch: Lie face down on the ground with your palms in front of your chest. Press up your arms until they are straight, lifting your upper body off the floor while pressing your thighs into the ground. You should feel a nice stretch through the abdominal region. Hold this for 30 seconds and then return to starting position. Do this 2-3 times.

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