Why Does Stretching Feel So Good?
Nothing is as satisfying as having a nice long stretch. You can do it either in the morning, at the end of the day or after you finish a tiring task. For many people, stretching is an inbuilt reaction, much like yawning. It is a reaction that everyone does, whether they are babies or adults. Moreover, even animals stretch their bodies.
Given this aspect, few people wonder why does stretching feel so good to them or consider what benefits stretching has to offer. You will be happy to know that stretching isn’t just an involuntary action. It actually has tangible benefits for your body.
Another reason why everyone likes to stretch is that it feels good. There’s a general sense of relief, energy and wellbeing from such a simple activity. If you’re still wondering why does stretching feel so good, the following are some answers to this question.
1. Good for Circulation
Stretching helps improve circulation by supporting the natural function of our veins. Our circulatory system provides glucose, oxygen and nutrients to our cells and muscles. With poor circulation, this doesn’t happen and your body starts to feel weaker because of it.
However, when you are working, your muscles start to contract. This slows down the function of the circulatory system. By stretching, you can improve blood flow to your muscles. It also ensures that your cells are producing energy.
Moreover, stretching prevents nerve pressure or circulatory restriction that can compress nerves. By stretching, it is possible to reduce muscle pain by allowing healthy blood flow. It also improves the condition of your blood vessels.
A healthy circulatory system is important for everyone. With stretching, you can ensure that your circulatory system is in good shape. It also promotes healthy oxygen flow in cells and more.
2. Prevents Soreness
Stretching is one of the best activities that can help you to reduce soreness in your muscles. Many people suffer from tight joints and tight muscles. Moreover, a sedentary lifestyle means that our bodies are not active. Sitting in one place indicates that you are likely conforming to an unnatural posture.
When you stretch, you allow your muscles to come back to their natural state. Regular stretching is often recommended for people who have to sit a lot at their work desk. Proper stretching can ensure that a person is able to stay sedentary without issues. This can mean that they don’t have to worry about causing stiffness in their muscles or back and neck pains.
Many exercise trainers recommend stretches for anyone who is about to take part in a strenuous physical activity. This is true because it prevents muscle soreness but also improves muscle recovery. The increased circulation ensures that you are ready for any physical activity.
3. Increases Flexibility
Before any physical activity, it is always recommended that you do a gentle warm up. This means take some time to stretch your body. Stretching helps to loosen up your muscles and joints. This prepares them for the strenuous activities that the exercise session will entail.
As a person ages, their body becomes stiffer. With regular stretching, they can retain the flexibility they have. Stretching poses are designed to target different areas of the body. They can be customized to meet your needs. This means that stretches for flexibility are different than normal stretches. However, they are just as good for you.
Moreover, stretching is also recommended after the exercise session. This will help your muscles slowly contract. When your body cools down after a workout, your muscles and joints will ache, as the temperature changes and the muscles start to contract. With stretching, this can be easily avoided. You will also improve your body’s natural flexibility.
Stretching can prevent muscle cramps and also improves movement. With a limber body, people are able to be more active and take part in physical activities like hiking, jogging and more.
4. Relieves Stress
One of the biggest issues with stress is that it affects the body. It can cause pain, inflammation as well as stiffness in muscles. Many people often have stiffness in the back, neck and shoulder muscles because of stress. Stretching can help to ease the pain caused by stress on the body.
By improving blood circulation and flexibility, it is possible to reduce the effects of stress on the body. This aspect ensures that you are able to experience less pain. While it’s not a cure for chronic pain caused by stress, mild pain can be improved upon through stretching.
Moreover, stress affects the mind, causing anxiety and loss of focus, fatigue and more. By stretching, you decrease the effects of stress and allow your body to relax. Stretching allows you to expand your lungs to their full capacity. By pairing it with proper breathing, you can reduce stress with ease.
Many people don’t know that stretching can work like this but it is extremely beneficial. Stretching to relieve stress is not only effective but also easy to incorporate into your daily routine too.
5. Improves Mental Health
Due to the fact that stretching effectively reduces anxiety and stress, it also improves your mental health. It is one of the best ways for a person to practice mindfulness as well as try different breathing practices. Many people enjoy stretching for at least 20 minutes per day to help with their anxiety.
For many people, regular stretching has been a way for them to practice grounding as well. This helps to relieve panic attacks and also helps a person when they feel that they are disassociating from their surroundings. With regular stretching, a person can improve their sense of wellness.
That’s why gentle exercises like yoga is better for people who want to improve their mental health. Additionally, a healthy routine, exercise and a good diet can help to improve the mental health of a person.
However, it should be noted that stretching is not a cure-all for these conditions or the mental health of a person. But, if it is paired with proper breathing exercises as well as therapy, a person can manage their mental health. They can also improve their condition.
6. Lowers Blood Pressure
Stretching already helps to improve blood circulation. It is no surprise that this activity also ensures that you have lower pressure. Stretching can prevent blood vessels from constricting and improves their functions immensely. By stretching, it is possible for a person to improve their blood pressure and help their body to relax.
There’s data which highlights that stretching can help to activate the body’s parasympathetic nervous system. This is responsible for helping the body to calm down, start to rest and trigger digestion in the body. This helps us make feel more relaxed and also lowers the blood pressure of a person.
By stretching, you can effectively help to lower your blood pressure and cause your body to calm down. A lower blood pressure also helps one feel calmer as well as more at peace and rested. This aspect makes it a must-try for anyone experiencing high blood pressure because of stress.
7. Releases Endorphins
One of the best things about stretching is that it triggers the release of endorphins in the body, much like any other exercise would. These endorphins act like neurotransmitters and have an analgesic effect on the body. Endorphins help one feel better and happier. Combined with the other calming benefits of stretching, this is one of the main reasons why people like to stretch.
Additionally, endorphins are responsible for making a person feel good, which is why, people enjoy stretching so much. It is also found that any physical activity, including exercise and sports, help with the release of endorphins. For many, this helps provide them with more motivation to start the day.
Regular stretching ensures that these endorphins are released steadily into the body. They help one feel more positive about their day. Whether it’s at the end of the day or at the start, these endorphins can help a person mentally as well as physically. And to think that all you need to do for it is just a little stretch!
8. Facilitates a Good Night’s Sleep
Stretching before bedtime has been found to be extremely beneficial for a person, especially since it helps one sleep. Poor sleep cycles can contribute to stress, making one feel fatigued and tiredness throughout the day. Additionally, lack of sleep can also cause more stress on the body and the mind. Poor sleep has also been connected with issues, such as heart disease and diabetes as well.
Stretching is not a strenuous exercise and light stretches for 20 minutes can help anyone sleep like a baby. The endorphins that are released help to lower blood pressure and reduce stress. This can make a person prepared for bedtime with ease. It also relaxes the body and the mind, ensuring that they have a more restful sleep and wake up feeling refreshed and healthy.
Research shows that stretching before bedtime can help a person avoid nocturnal cramps. So, if you are having difficulty falling asleep, try some light stretches and see what a difference this makes in your sleep quality.
9. Relieves Back Pain
If you have back pain, you might be surprised to know that stretching can help you in this aspect. Back pain caused by poor posture, as well as strenuous activities can be difficult to deal with. Moreover, stress can also contribute to causing back pain in a person.
With regular stretching, a person can improve their muscle tone and release tension in the muscles that are supporting the spine. Light stretches usually target the core and ab muscles. Strengthening this area also helps to strengthen your back and shoulder muscles.
Certain yoga poses, such as the Boat pose, is extremely useful in this aspect. This pose is specifically designed to help strengthen the core muscles of the person. When the core is weaker, the body compensates for it by utilizing the back muscles abnormally. With regularly stretching, you can strengthen your core and relieve back pain with ease.
10. Improves Posture
Tying in with the back pain relief, stretching can also help you to correct and improve your posture by targeting all the muscles of your body. Stretching can help to realign your spine, relieve tension from your shoulders and more. Many people stretch regularly to target their shoulder, neck and spine muscles.
Slouching while sitting or sitting in one place for too long is responsible for causing poor posture to develop over time. With the right stretches, it is possible to ease the tension caused by the poor posture. It also helps you fix the misalignment to a certain degree.
For severe cases, it is always recommended that you get help from a professional to improve and fix your posture. However, if the issue is not too severe, light stretching coupled with yoga is going to be the best option for you.
11. Helps with Fatigue
If you find it difficult to concentrate on a task at hand, stretching for a while can be a good option. Since stretching improves circulation, it also pulls in more oxygen into the lungs. This aspect helps a person to clear their mind and feel more refreshed temporarily.
Many people say a stretch is like a full body yawn where your body needs more oxygen. When you stretch while tired, you’ll know how it feels, your body will feel better and you’ll be able to concentrate more on the task at hand.
With the help of the above, you now know the answers to the question “Why does stretching feel so good?”. You can also learn the benefits that regular stretching has to offer.