healthykidsexercisebedtimestretchingSometimes you start a healthy routine, without realizing just how healthy it is. This is how I happened upon the benefits of stretching before bedtime.

I take late evening classes at the local YMCA, so there’s no time to stretch there afterwards. To get in stretching time, I made it a part of my nightly routine with the girls. They love it and I love it!

I thought this was a good way for us to spend quality time together, and to work on our flexibility. Yes, it does these things, but stretching before bedtime has other benefits, too.

It is a great way to release tension, to transition from the busyness of our day to the relaxation of bedtime, and for us it’s a time to laugh together. What better way to go to bed than happy and relaxed? There are also research studies that say stretching/yoga is one way to fight insomnia and night leg cramps.

One reason stretching is a hit with us is that everyone can participate at their own level; there is no competition. Here are a few of our rules for stretch time.

We rotate leaders. Each person gets a turn to choose the stretches. The girls like showing me what they have learned and I enjoy them exercising their leadership skills.

We can laugh together, but no one gets teased. We respect that each person is doing their best and that is worth encouragement and praise, not teasing.

Everyone tries. Sure, certain stretches may not look easy, but we each have to at least try. If we try and it doesn’t feel good, then we can modify it to be more comfortable.

If you are starting a stretch routine, here are some tips to help you along.

Here are a few places you can find stretching exercises for kids:

Stretching via Parents.com 

Livestrong stretches for children

Yoga poses for kids

So share, do you have a fun nighttime routine with your kids?