September 20


Why Does Stretching Feel Good? A Guide to Falling in Love with Stretching

You know you’ve been sitting in that chair for hours, and now your back hurts.

So, you go up on the internet and come across a lot of stretching exercises. And this got you wondering – why does stretching feel good? It’s not even a proper, focused exercise. It’s simply stretching. What good can it do for your sore and stiff muscles?

In this post, we’ll be discussing the top ten benefits of regular stretching, everyday life stretching poses, and why you should always include it in your to-do list for the day.

Why Does Stretching Make You Feel Good?

Let’s learn a little about the physiological, chemical reactions going in our body that’ll explain why does stretching feels good.

Release of Endorphins

What’s the first thing you do when you get out of your bed in the morning? That’s right; you put your arms behind your neck and stretch. And then you’re ready for the day to begin.

Stretching leads to the release of endorphins. They are also known as the feel-good or happy neurotransmitters of the brain. Endorphins are usually released after physical activities such as stretching, that help in toning down your perception of pain.

Therefore, for an uninterrupted daily supply of endorphin – stretching is the way to go.

Enhanced Blood Circulation

As you begin stretching and grinding your muscles, the body responds to all this by increasing the blood flow to the muscles.

For this, the blood vessels widen to allow more blood to reach the muscles. More blood means that muscles receive more oxygen and dump metabolic waste products quickly, thereby preventing lactic acid build-up.

Improved blood flow to the muscles ensures that they don’t get tired too quickly. It boosts your stamina and guarantees better performance in the long run.

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    Boosts Parasympathetic Activity

    The central nervous system has two branches; the sympathetic and parasympathetic nervous systems.

    The parasympathetic system is activated when you’re resting and aids in processes like digestion, defecation, and urination – all the processes that help one feel at ease. And, undoubtedly, stretching activates the parasympathetic nervous system as well. 

    Once the parasympathetic system takes over, you are bound to feel more relaxed and calmer. This is why regular stretching can make you feel more composed and energized.

    However, all those who miss out on this fantastic activity have tense muscles and pent-up frustration that directly affects their everyday tasks. To resolve such issues, you should start stretching from today – maybe from right now!

    What Are the Benefits of Stretching?

    Soothing Stretches

    Now that we have gone through the importance of stretching, it’s time to move on to the most-awaited part of the post.

    Here are all the benefits of stretching that will get you to start today!

    1. Quicker Recovery Time & Enhanced Blood Flow

    Well, like we’ve discussed before – stretching leads to better blood circulation.

    Because of increased blood flow and more oxygen reaching your muscles, you perform better on the whole. With the incoming oxygen-rich blood and loads of outgoing waste products – muscles indeed get to live their life!

    Don’t forget to notice the change in the recovery time, i.e., strenuous exercises wouldn’t be too tiring. And the energy levels will replenish in a short period of time.

    2. Prevents Cholesterol Build-Up

    If there’s one enemy that you should always be aware of – that’s cholesterol.

    Cholesterol build-up can lead to various health problems, especially heart diseases. Having a balanced diet and a proper workout routine are helpful ways to keep it in check. However, if exercising daily seems like a tiring chore – that’s okay; you can always resort to stretching.

    Stretching keeps the blood vessels widened, with the blood flowing smoothly. This doesn’t allow cholesterol to get stuck and boosts overall health.

    3. Lesser Chances of Muscle Injury

    Your muscles are prone to injury if they are tensed.

    Therefore, jumping into a hectic workout routine before stretching, can lead to micro-tears and, ultimately, muscle injuries.

    Limbering up the muscles, ensuring full range motion, and improving flexibility is quite easy – all thanks to stretching. Also, as a result of stretching your muscles are already loosened up and all set to work without getting torn apart.

    4. Boosts Your Energy Levels

    You’d be surprised to know how energetic it feels after stretching. It’s like electricity buzzing through your veins – ever wondered why?

    It’s understood that stretching causes improved blood circulation, which leads to increased blood to all the muscles. This means that more blood and more oxygen reach your brain tissues as well.

    Because of this enhanced supply, the brain starts functioning better than before. It makes your brain more active and alert to the surroundings, allowing you to be more energetic throughout the day.

    5. Better Flexibility  

    Who said only gymnasts could be flexible? You can be pretty flexible too, given stretching is a regular part of your life.

    Having a flexible body is one of the best things – trust us. Being able to completely bend backward or touch the toes – doesn’t it sound fantastic?

    As cool as it sounds, improved flexibility makes you feel really good too. You are using the full range motion of muscles while also significantly lessening the chances of sustaining injuries.

    Imagine not spraining your ankle or suffering from a nasty fall ever? Yes, improved flexibility can do all these wonders, for sure!

    6. Increases Your Stamina 

    One of the many benefits of stretching is improved stamina.

    Stretching the muscles ensures they aren’t taut anymore. Because of this, carrying out exercises becomes easy and doesn’t take up much of your energy.

    Stretched-out muscles boost better performance than tensed muscles that limit your potential and tire you out quickly. However, to achieve this, it’s essential that you stretch regularly.

    7. Improves Your Balance 

    Have you ever wondered how gymnasts can walk on that thin rope? It’s simple – they stretch.

    Regular stretching can create a significant impact on your daily or special activities like hiking or mountain climbing. All these activities require balance and stability that can be achieved through stretching.  

    According to a study, static and dynamic stretches showed positive effects on the participants’ dynamic balance. It confirms the fact that with regular stretching, fine muscle coordination is significantly improved.

    8. Makes You Feel Delighted  

    Remember the endorphins? Yes, the I-Feel-So-Good-About-Myself neurochemicals. There is serotonin, too, popularly known as the happy hormone, that is also released while stretching.

    Stretching is a form of light exercise because there’s no jumping, additional equipment, or sweating involved. With stretching, you can feel relaxed and more connected to your body.

    After all, this serotonin-endorphin-coupled chemistry is bound to make you feel delighted and content post-stretch-out. So, to answer the question, why does stretching feel good? Well, for all we know, it could be chemistry.

    9. Works on Your Posture

    As far as personalities are concerned – postures make 50% of them. So, if you have a sloppy posture, you’re most likely to come off as lazy and unattractive.  

    If you want to look attractive and give off a charming vibe, it’s vital to work on your posture. Start stretching out your muscles so that they assume the position they should be in. Once stretched to their full-length – good posture comes naturally.

    Once your muscles begin loosening up – getting that Emma Watson posture is not far away!

    10. Manages Your Pain

    Why does stretching feel good? Because it gets rid of your pain!

    If you’re stuck in quarantine currently and have to work from home, sitting all day in front of your laptop causes the muscles to become tense.

    Tensed muscles don’t allow a full range of motion, and therefore pain lingers around for extended periods of time. Save yourself from the turmoil of excruciating pain and start stretching today!

    Easy-to-Do, Every Day Stretches

    A lady stretching her muscles

    Now that you know all the benefits of stretching, it’s time to get on with it.

    There are two types of stretching; dynamic and static. Dynamic stretches are usually performed pre-workout and are controlled movements that work on the range of motion.

    Whereas static stretches are stretching poses that you should hold for a while. During static stretches, muscles lose their tense form and assume their entire length—this further aids in increasing your range of motion and flexibility.

    Let’s take a look at multiple stretching poses that can help you bend in any direction, like licorice.

    Cobra Pose

    Attention, freelancers! This one’s hands down the best stretch for you!

    Lie down on your front and keep your hands in front of you. Lift your upper body and lean backward. You’ll be able to feel the muscles in your shoulders, back, abs, and hips loosening up.

    It’s also known as the upward-facing dog. It is excellent for back pain that you experience after sitting on your desk for prolonged periods of time.

    Forward Bend

    Ever felt like letting go of all the frustration in one go? If yes, then the forward bend is the stretching pose for you!

    Forward bend can be performed while sitting or standing. Raise your hands and then bend forward (as much as you can, don’t overdo it), and try touching your toes.

    This stretch will work on the calves, hamstrings, and hips.

    Low Lunge

    If you want to enhance your lower body’s range of motion, a low lunge is an ideal stretching pose.

    For this, bend your right knee while resting your left leg on the floor. Make sure that your hands are overhead and then open through your chest.

    Neck Rolls 

    We love neck rolls! They’re effortless and oh-so relaxing. However, the trick is to perform neck rolls very slowly and calmly because you wouldn’t want to end up getting a whiplash.

    With regular stretching, you can increase your range of motion and get rid of neck stiffness once and for all. 

    And all this time you were wondering why does stretching feels good?

    Seated Torso Stretch

    It’s the best pose to experience a great stretch in your glute and leg muscles all at once. Just cross one leg over the other and keep that leg’s foot on the ground. Hold the leg you crossed over and bend the knees 45-degrees.

    Hold the pose and feel that gush of calmness run over you.

    Tips to Stretch Safely

    Now that you know why does stretching feels good? You shouldn’t just start doing it right away – hold your horses instead. It’s crucial to stretch correctly because if you don’t, you might end up hurting yourself pretty badly.

    Here are a few tips to stretch safely:

    • Always begin with stretching after you’ve warmed up.
    • Don’t try to overstretch the muscles.
    • Ensure smooth transitions when moving in and out of a stretch.
    • Get a yoga mat or stretch in comfortable places.
    • Try to hold the stretches and avoid jerky movements.
    • Be regular with your stretching routine.
    • Remember to maintain good form while stretching out.

    And there you go!

    Follow these tips to ensure a smooth, relaxing, and injury-free stretching session.

    Elevate Your Lifestyle with Regular Stretching

    So, why does stretching feel good? If you ask us, then it’s probably because it elevates your lifestyle and makes you mindful.

    It’s not necessary to follow a 30 minute- stretching routine. Instead, settling for 5- or 10-mins stretching sessions can be a good idea too.

    The only thing that matters is to realize how regular stretching can help you overcome petty problems like backaches and pain, especially if you have a sedentary lifestyle otherwise.

    Stretching doesn’t cost a dime and makes one feel terrific about themselves – what else would anyone want?