You jump out of bed ready to face the day head-on. The problem is that you may be demanding too much from your back muscles, which are often stiff from a long night of resting in one place, says Robert Oexman
, a sleep and chiropractic expert and director of the Sleep to Live Institute. Move too quickly and your muscles may spasm and put you at risk for lower back pain or even a slipped or ruptured disk. Another reason to get up slowly: When we stand after lying down for hours, the blood rushes to the legs, and this can cause a lightheaded feeling that puts us at risk for a stumble. This effect, called orthostatic hypotension, is especially common in women, says Alan Hilibrand, MD, a surgeon and spokesperson for the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons.
Before jumping into the shower, Oexman recommends hugging the knees to the chest (one at a time, then together). This will not only help warm up the muscles, but it will also get your blood flowing throughout the body so you'll feel more stable when you rise and shine.