You may never realize that stretching is the first thing you do when you wake up in the morning. This instinctive stretching of your muscles is seen in most kinds of animals; it will let you involve an instant feeling of relaxation after doing it, which is Why does stretching feel good ?”
The rush of endorphins you get after a good and static stretch to start the day feels undeniably amazing. In fact, it is a healthy habit that gives a lot of tangible benefits to your body. A stretching routine not only improves your blood flow but also increases your heart rate and relieves pressure.
In fact, it is a healthy habit that gives a lot of tangible benefits to your full body, one of the simplest is that will help you knee pain relief.
Join me as we explore the wonders of stretching. Why we do it, why it feels good, and why we need to add a little more of it to maintain a healthy lifestyle.
Why Do We Stretch When We Wake up?
Why does stretching feel good in the morning? The most important part of our day in the morning because air is quite fresh, the static stretching will awake your brain and reduce the nervousness and pressure of the day before because it activates a parasympathetic nervous system, the studies show that regular stretching is associated with a significant enhancement in the parasympathetic nerve activity. Besides, it can also help you clear out the waste products that had accumulated in your muscles the day before
Why Do We Feel the Need to Stretch?
Well, when our bodies experience a long period of inactivity, our muscles tend to become stiff. When your body is at rest or asleep, your muscles begin to lose their tone, and fluids tend to build along your back. This makes us feel the urge to stretch to realign our body’s muscles.
Stretching is our body’s way of signaling our muscles that it’s time to work.
We’re active creatures of habit. It’s only natural for us to feel compelled to stretch to get our body drumming up again.
Be it involuntarily or deliberately, and our body also craves the satisfaction stretching gives.
Why Does Stretching Feel Good?
The phenomena of how euphoric stretching is has a lot of reasons behind it. Ever wondered why stretching feels so good when you wake up?
Here are 5 reasons why does stretching feel so good :
One of the best answers as to why stretching feels good is that it triggers the release of endorphins in your body.
Endorphins act as neurotransmitters and are primarily responsible for making our body feel good and happy.
Incorporating regular stretches into your daily routine helps encourage the production of this happy hormone to consistently flow through your body, making it the best way to start and end the day.
Living such busy and fast-paced lives can give our body levels of stress that can take a toll on us physically and mentally. It can cause fatigue, muscle stiffness, and can even cause loss of focus.
Stretching can decrease the levels of stress in your body and help it relax both physically and mentally.
Stretching does an excellent job of promoting blood circulation in the body. It helps encourage the distribution of nutrients and oxygen in our muscles and cells.
Doing daily stretches can help ensure that your body is getting its nutrition; it needs in all the right places.
Improves Physical and Mental Health
Since stretching can decrease the stress levels in our body, it is relatively good for our mental and physical well-being.
A combination of stretching and breathing exercises like doing yoga can help increase the levels of endorphins in your body, reduce muscle tension, and make your body more flexible.
Helps you Relax
Doing stretches relieves the tightness in your muscles and improves the circulation of your body. Both of which can help remove the tension in your body and help you feel better and relaxed.
What Happens If You Never Stretch
There’s a lot of mobility issues coming your way if you don’t stretch your body. Expect sore or tight muscles and joints pain . When we don’t stretch, our body would instantly feel lethargic, and it would downgrade our body’s ability to be flexible. Stretching regularly prevents any of these from happening.
What Are The Benefits of Stretching?
You might’ve seen athletes do it before and after their competition, or perhaps you’ve seen it being done by fitness savvies and gym rats before and after their workout sessions. Well, they were stretching decreases, if not prevents the risk of injuries.
Stretching encourages your muscles to stay flexible and improve the range of motion in your joints. Both of these combined can significantly reduce the risk of suffering from mobility problems such as cramping, joint pain, and muscle stiffness that might hinder your ability to perform.
Reduce Muscle Soreness and Tightness
Engaging in strenuous physical activity can often lead to muscle fatigue. It goes the same as well when you live a sedentary lifestyle, and your body’s muscles can’t help but feel tight.
And if you ever wondered why does stretching feels good when sore, then you have your answer. Stretching relieves the soreness and tightness of our muscles. It also improves the blood circulation in our body. Which helps encourage our muscles to recover.
Our muscles are very malleable. Incorporating daily stretches into your day-to-day routine can help increase your body’s flexibility and improve your joints’ range of motion.
This, in turn, can also decrease your risks of mobility issues and can help improve your physical performance.
Help get a Good Sleep at Night
It’s a pain to deal with stiff joints and muscles before you go to sleep. It causes way more problems than you might think, and the last thing you would want to happen after a tiring day is your muscle cramping in the middle of the night.
Doing stretches before you go to bed can help you sleep better with a relaxed and loose body.
Relieve Back Pain
Back pain is a common problem most people who live sedentary lifestyles have. Especially if your job involves working at a desk all day long, back pain and stiffness is to be expected.
But stretching can help alleviate this, and you might be involuntarily doing it already since it reduced the tension in your back and relieves the pressure in your muscles.
Incorporating stretches into your daily routine can significantly help improve your posture.
Stretching can not only put your muscles to use but also encourages muscle realignment. So you can spare yourself from the strain of bad posture, which is a growing problem nowadays.
Stretching has the fantastic ability to relieve the tension in our muscles, improve blood circulation, and help the brain to produce endorphins, which in turn alleviates our body’s fatigue. It’s a great one-stop solution after a stressful or busy day.
Is it Good to Stretch Before Bedtime?
Stretching is not only an excellent way to start your day, but it is also the best thing you can do for your body before you go to bed. Doing stretches can help loosen your muscle and joints’ tightness that may have been caused by your daily activities.
Giving your body a couple of decent stretches before bed can help you sleep better and feel more comfortable throughout the night.
5 Best Daily Stretches You Can Do
Here are 5 of the best daily stretches you can do:
1. Piriformis Stretch
The piriformis muscle can often be the subject cause of knee or joint pain. Working on stretching this particular muscle can also be the solution to chase the aches and pain away from your joints, knees, and ankles.
How to do it:
- Lie down on your back with your body straight. N
- Gently lift one leg and bend your knee. Reach across your body with your opposite hand to pull your knee gently towards your opposite shoulder.
- Hold your position for about 15-30 seconds.
- Repeat this stretch around 2-4 times on each of your legs.
2. Low Lunge
Doing a low lunge can be the best solution in loosening up the tightness in your hips, hamstrings, quads, and groin. It makes an excellent pre or post-workout stretch for athletes. It can be beneficial for those who work in sedentary conditions.
How to do it:
- Begin in a Downward Facing Dog Position: Position in all fours with your hips right above your knees and shoulders just above your wrists.
- With an exhale, bring your left foot carefully forward between your hands. Try to maintain your balance while doing so.
- Ease your right knee to the floor and slide your foot back until you feel pressure on your right thigh and hip. Keep in mind to have your hips low.
- With an inhale, tighten your core and proceed to lift your chest from your thigh and raise your arms alongside your ears.
- Keep your eyes straight ahead and gently bend your body backward. Keep your breathing in check.
- While you exhale, bring your hands back down again and revert to your starting position.
- Repeat the process for 4 times.
3. Butterfly Stretch
The butterfly stretch is easily a common type of stretch runners and dancers do to relieve the tightness and increase their lower leg muscles’ flexibility. That means their hamstrings, groin, lower back, and hips.
How to do it:
- Sit on the ground, legs in front of you.
- Grab your left foot and carefully pull it towards your groin until the sole of your foot is facing your right thigh.
- Bend your right knee next and proceed to pull your right foot to press against the left foot.
- Hold both of your feet in place, with your elbows resting on your knees.
- Hold your posture and refrain from slouching. Let your knees fall towards the ground until you feel the pull in the groin.
- Hold your position for about 20-30 seconds before release.
- Repeat the process 3 times.
4. Side bend
The side bend or standing side bend is one of the most basic stretches that can help improve your body’s posture. This stretch helps strengthen your legs and realign your spine and muscles that effectively removes the tension in your body.
How to do it:
- Assume a standing position, legs, and feet together with your back straight.
- Slowly bring both of your arms up over your head with a deep inhale.
- Proceed to drop your left arm down gently to the side of your body and exhale as you stretch your right arm over your head, bending your body slowly to the left side.
- Inhale again and return both arms overhead to the center,
- Repeat the process 2-4 times.
5. Hamstring stretch
Tight hamstrings can be troublesome to deal with. Stretching them out can do a lot of good in loosening up and preventing any tightness or sores.
How to do it:
- Lie down with your back flat on the ground. Keep your feet planted firmly on the ground with your knees bent.
- Carefully lift your one knee towards your chest.
- Proceed to extend your other leg while keeping the knee bent slightly.
- Hold your form for 10-30 seconds.
- Repeat the process for both legs at least 2-3 times.
How to Avoid Stretching Mistakes?
You might think that something as simple as stretching shouldn’t be prone to mistakes. But they do happen and stretching mistakes are more common than you might think.
Here are ways to prevent it:
Never Warming Up Before Stretching
While stretching can be considered a great warm-up on its own before a workout session, you still have to do a warm-up before you stretch.
Doing pre-stretch warm-ups such as light aerobic activities can help keep your muscles more pliant and help promote better circulation in your body.
This way, you’ll be able to spare yourself from getting cramps and get the muscles in your body pumped and ready before your workout.
Overstretch Your Muscle
Too much of anything isn’t a good thing, and that includes stretching.
Overstretching can cause several problems, such as instability issues on your joints. It can even cause tears to your muscle tissues and ligaments, which can be quite painful to deal with.
It’s best to take it easy and keep your stretches in a consistent and right amount.
Holding Your Breath When Stretching
Proper breathing comes along with stretching.
Breathing aids with the circulation of oxygen in your blood and our circulatory system. It would do your body no right to hold your breath while stretching since it would deprive your blood of oxygen.
Keep in mind to do proper breathing exercises to ensure that your oxygen reaches your muscles.
Stretching Too Fast
Stretching too fast can lead to lousy muscle injuries. If you stretch your stiff muscles all too quickly, you’ll happen to tear tissue or ligaments that can be extremely painful and debilitating.
Be gentle with your stretches and go easy on your muscles to prevent any damage from happening.
Skipping Pre and Post-Workout Stretches
Skipping pre and post-workout stretches is never a good idea. You’ll find yourself encountering difficulty in performing your exercises as well as a bad case of muscle cramps and soreness afterward.
Doing stretches before your workout can help prepare your muscles. You’ll be able to perform your workouts effectively and prevent muscle injuries. Why does stretching feel good after a workout? The answer to that is stretching helps ease the tension that has built up in our muscles after a workout. This also spares your body from experiencing bad muscle sores.
The Bottom Line
Doing stretches is essential in keeping our muscles flexible, strong, and healthy.
Although it’s a fairly new area of research, it’s thought that stretching may have long-term benefits on your circulatory health, such as reduce blood pressure.