Without realizing it, many folks start our day by stretching before we even get out of bed.
Involuntary stretching of your muscles is named pandiculation. It’s a behavior seen in most sorts of animals to alleviate muscle tension.
Few activities feel better after a period of inactivity than stretching. Stretching reduces your risk of getting injured, can induce a sense of calmness, and is even thought to enhance your circulation.
In this article, we’ll help explain why stretching feels good, explore the advantages , and supply samples of simple stretches you’ll do on a daily basis.
Why does stretching feel good?
Not only does stretching clear your mind by allowing you to specialise in your body, it also releases endorphins.
Blood flow to the muscles increases after an extended stretch. Muscles are controlled by the systema nervosum , which has two main components: ‘sympathetic’ (fight or flight) and ‘parasympathetic’ (rest and digest).
Static stretching increases activity within the parasympathetic systema nervosum , promoting relaxation. Although the guts rate may rise during a stretch, it tends to decrease after.
Humans have a natural tendency to avoid things that cause pain and to hunt activities that feel good. Stretching is not any exception. Your body’s natural reward system makes stretching feel good to motivate you to stay your muscles at optimal tension.
Here’s a better check out the explanations why stretching feels good.
When you stretch a muscle, your body responds by increasing blood flow thereto area. The blood vessels round the targeted muscle widen to permit more blood to flow through, and your heart starts pumping more blood.
This increase in blood flow allows the muscle or muscles you’re stretching to receive more oxygen and to urge obviate metabolic waste products.
Research has shown that static stretching activates your parasympathetic systema nervosum and inhibits activation of your sympathetic systema nervosum .
Your parasympathetic systema nervosum is liable for your rest and digestion functions. It also can help induce feelings of calmness and relaxation.
Endorphins are chemicals produced by your central systema nervosum and pituitary that function as neurotransmitters. they need greater pain-relieving effects than morphine and cause a sense of euphoria once they bind with receptors in your brain.
Endorphins are a part of your body’s natural reward system and are released after activities like exercise, sex, eating, and drinking.
There’s little research on the consequences of stretching on endorphin release. However, consistent with a 2015 perspective, stretching may help reduce menstruation pain. It’s thought that its pain-relieving effects are thanks to the relief of blood vessels, the discharge of beta-endorphins, and therefore the suppression of prostaglandins.
What are the advantages of stretching?
There are many benefits to stretching your muscles regularly. Let’s check out these benefits in additional detail.
Regularly stretching may help improve your flexibility, especially if you reside a sedentary lifestyle. Your flexibility naturally decreases as a part of the aging process, but stretching may help hamper this process.
Stretching causes short-term improvements in circulation by relaxing your blood vessels and increasing the quantity of blood your heart pumps.
Although it’s a reasonably new area of research, it’s thought that stretching may have long-term benefits on your circulatory health, like improved vessel function and lower vital sign .
Static stretching activates your parasympathetic systema nervosum . Activating this branch of your systema nervosum may help alleviate the psychological effects of stress. This, in turn, may help induce feelings of calmness and relaxation.
Better sports performance
Being able to realize a full range of motion through all of your joints may help boost your sports performance. for instance , to realize maximum speed, a sprinter must be ready to fully extend and rotate their hips.
Both static and dynamic stretching could also be ready to assist you improve your range of motion. However, static stretching should be reserved for after workouts since it can decrease force production.
Muscle tightness and tension can negatively affect your posture by pulling your spine into positions which will put stress on your back, neck, and core muscles.
Research has shown that regular stretching together with core strengthening exercises may help improve poor posture and alignment.
Simple daily stretches
One of the good things about stretching is that you simply don’t need any special equipment to try to to it. Stretching are often done anywhere at any time.
Here are five key stretches which will help relieve tension and tightness in many of the main muscle groups in your body.
The low lunge helps stretch the muscles in your hips, groin, thighs, and core.
To do this stretch:
- Step your right foot forward into a lunge together with your back knee on the bottom and your left leg extended. Keep your right knee over your right foot, but not beyond it.
- Put your hands on the bottom next to your foot. you’ll also put them on your knees or raise them toward the sky.
- Take a deep breath and specialise in opening your chest and stretching out your spine.
- Hold the lunge for a minimum of 5 breaths, then repeat on the opposite side
The forward bend helps stretch your back, groin, and therefore the backs of your legs.
To do this stretch:
- Sit on a cushty surface and extend your left leg call at front of your body. Put your right foot against the within of your left thigh.
- Take a deep breath and lift your hands over your head.
- As you exhale, bend forward from your hips and reach forward as far as you comfortably can.
- Rest your hands on the ground or on your left leg as you hold the pose for 40 to 60 seconds.
- Repeat on the opposite side.
Seated torso stretch
The seated torso stretch targets the muscles in your core and back.
To do this stretch:
- Start by sitting upright during a chair together with your feet on the bottom .
- Hold the rear of the chair with one hand and twist within the direction of that hand.
- Hold the twist for up to 30 seconds and repeat on the opposite side.
Cobra Pose can help open up and stretch the muscles of your chest, abs, neck, and shoulders.
To do this stretch:
- Lie on your stomach together with your hands under your shoulders, your arms tight to your chest, and your fingers facing forward.
- Pushing through your hands, lift your upper torso off the bottom as you straighten your arms. Tilt your head back if you would like to form the stretch deeper.
- Hold the position with a small bend in your elbows for 30 to 60 seconds.
Neck rolls are an excellent thanks to relieve tension in your neck, especially after long periods of sitting.
To do this stretch:
- Relax and sit upright together with your ears aligned over your shoulders.
- Roll your head forward then to the proper in order that you are feeling a stretch within the left side of your neck. Hold this position for 10 seconds.
- Return to the starting position and repeat on the opposite side.
Repeat 3 times in each direction.
Tips for stretching safely
Avoid stretching cold. Before you begin stretching, it’s an honest idea to urge your blood flowing to avoid injury. Doing a low-intensity activity like walking or easy jogging for five minutes can help warm up your muscles.
Stretch gently. Don’t force any position that causes pain. If a stretch is painful, it means you’re stretching too far.
Make stretching a routine. you’ll reap the foremost benefits from stretching if it becomes a daily habit. Fitness experts recommend stretching a minimum of two to 3 times per week.
Stretch each side . make certain to stretch each side of your body equally to avoid flexibility imbalances.
Avoid bouncing. Bouncing while you’re stretching can injure your muscles or tendons. It also can make your muscle tighten.
The bottom line
Stretching tends to feel good because it activates your parasympathetic systema nervosum and increases blood flow to your muscles. It’s thought that stretching can also release endorphins that help to scale back pain and enhance your mood.
Besides feeling good and helping to alleviate muscle tension and stress, stretching also can increase your flexibility and circulation, boost your athletic performance, and improve your posture.
Talk to your doctor if you’ve got concerns about stretching, especially if you’ve got an injury or a chronic health condition.