Why Does Stretching Feel Good: 9 Benefits to a Fitter Life

Why does stretching feel good? How does inculcating the habit of stretching1 in your day-to-day life become a game-changer for your physical and mental health? Are you really curious to know about it? Then try to maintain a few minutes daily stretching routine. It may be the case that you don’t find the result in starting. Still, daily stretching practice without fail surely gives you enormous results in the long run and escalates your confidence, productivity level, and enthusiasm to the next level.

In today’s fast-changing environment, people get so busy with their hectic schedules and forget the importance of stretching and exercise2, leading to their health deterioration. People consider stretching a time-consuming thing which is not true; even a little stretching in between your work schedules can boost your energy level. You don’t need to spend a lot more time on it.

There are some really good benefits of stretching exercises that you definitely need to know, which motivate you to maintain a daily stretching schedule.

But before knowing its benefits, you need to first look at types of stretching exercises to understand better ‘why does stretching feel good?’

Static Stretching

It is the very basic kind of stretching3 type that anyone who does not have time to maintain a proper yoga or gym schedule can do so. You can do these exercises anywhere and anytime, which is the best part of these exercises. In these stretching, muscles are extended and held for a period of time means this our body is static for some seconds. Some of these are upper back stretch, shoulder stretch, hamstring stretch, calf stretch, and standing shin stretch.

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Purvottanasana Or Upward Plank Pose. Beautiful sporty girl practicing yoga on mat, stretching body via Milkos on Depositphotos

Dynamic Stretching

In these types of stretching, our body is in a moving position. These stretching exercises can be done before yoga or other cardiovascular or weightlifting exercises to warm up the body. These stretching are very useful to improve performance and reduce injury risk. Some of these are lunge with a twist, hip circles, large arm circles, and spinal rotations.4

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Portrait of Young Sporty Woman Doing Stretching Exercise. Athletic Workout via puhhha on Depositphotos

Ballistic Stretching

This stretching is an intense form of stretching as it involves bouncing movements to push the body beyond normal range. This kind of stretching is good for dancers or athletes.

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Side plank Fitness exercise. Athletic woman is doing power training outdoors at sunset. Concept of sport, recreation and motivation via khmelev on Depositphotos

Active Stretching

This type of stretching involves stretching a muscle by actively contracting the muscle opposite to it. It can be done before exercise as a warm-up to improve the performance. It has a low risk of injury. It improves muscle extendibility. Active stretches are common in yoga.

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Portrait of a fitness man doing stretching exercises at gym via Vadymvdrobot n Depositphotos

Passive Stretching

In this type of stretching, you need to stay in one position for some time and relax while the external accessory increases the stretch by putting external pressure on the body. It improves muscle strength, mobility, and motion range. Some examples are supine single leg stretch, standing quadriceps stretch, and hamstrings stretch.

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Cobra pose as part of a Thai body massage via debstheleo on Depositphotos

Isometric Stretching

This includes both flexibility and strength, and it is an advanced type of stretch. Athletes mainly do it.

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Resistance band clamshell leg workout hip abduction wide loop resistance booty circle bands toning inner and outer thighs, hamstring muscles. Asian fit girl training at home via Maridav on Depositphotos

PNF Stretching

It is “Proprioceptive Neuromuscular Facilitation5” stretching. It is an advanced form of flexibility training and was first used in clinical rehabilitation—muscle contraction and stretching are both involved in this.

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Senior patient undergoing rehabilitation with a blue stretch band (with photographic effect) via dp3010 on Depositphotos

Now when you get aware of different stretching exercises, it’s time to look to some exceptional benefits of these stretching exercises for your physical and mental health and make you aware of why stretching feels good, which surely motivates you to maintain a proper stretching routine.

 Benefits of Stretching Exercises:

1. Decreases Muscles and Joint Stiffness and Increase Range of Motion

Doing stretching exercises firstly in the morning after waking up from a long night’s sleep makes your body active due to proper circulation of oxygen and blood flow in the whole body, which reduces the stiffness of muscles and joints in the body tight muscles and joints.

2. Helps in Relaxing the Body From Post-Workout pains and Maintains Heart Rate

After a hard workout such as cardiovascular or heavy weightlifting exercises, stretching helps muscles keep them smooth and flexible by reducing their stiffness, leading to pain after a workout. And also reduces heart rate post-heavy workout.

3. Helps in Maintaining Blood Pressure

If you stretch daily, you will never face the problem of heart disease because when you stretch, it releases muscle tension and reduces stiffness in arteries, leading to reducing blood flow resistance and lowering blood pressure. High blood pressure has a major risk of heart disease, so spend some time stretching regularly.

4. Helps in Better Sleep Quality and Managing Stress Level

Before going to bed at night, if you do a little stretching, it improves your sleep quality by relieving your whole day’s stress. Are you wondering how this happens and why stretching feels good? There is a scientific reason behind it. Stretching exercises make your muscles stretch, and stretched muscles hold less tension and release endorphins more in the brain, leading to low-stress levels, and you feel good and lighter after stretching and have a better sleep quality. It is the best remedy for people suffering from insomnia disease.6

5. Alleviate the Lower Back Pain Risk and Improves the Posture

There is a risk of lower back pain when you sit for a long duration or in the wrong posture because the wrong posture causes the load on the spine, which increases lower back pain. So stretching is essential for those people who sit for a longer duration for their work. Different stretching exercises such as hamstrings, knee to chest, cat/cow yoga pose, and cobra stretch elongates your muscles and reduces stiffness, which leads to reducing the risk of lower back pain.7

6. Helps in Improving the Digestion Process of the Body

Digestion is a very important function in our body. Digestion basically helps break food into nutrients and proteins, which is essential to build our body and improve our immunity, which leads to helping our body fight diseases and keep us healthy and fit. But if the digestion process of the body disturbs, then it leads to many diseases.

So, by stretching, you can improve your digestion because daily stretching exercises such as head to knee posture, seated forward bend, twist, and bellows pose stimulates stomach digestive fire, liver, pancreas, reduces excess fat, and smooth the complete abdominal and pelvic area.

7. Activates Parasympathetic Nervous System

The parasympathetic nervous system is responsible for the body’s rest and digestion processes. It can also help develop feelings of calmness and relaxation. Static stretching exercises are really helpful in activating the parasympathetic nervous system. I hope through this point, you get clear about why stretching feels good.

8. Stretching Helps in Examining body Imbalances and Correcting these

If there is a misbalance in any part of our body, it will immediately be indicated by our body when we stretch. For example, if we do sun salutations(12 poses) and do it if we cannot bend properly in the forward-bending pose, it indicates that our muscles and body become so stiff and need flexibility. So daily stretching habit makes our body flexible and maintains our body parts for a longer time.

9. Improves Body and Mind Coordination

A daily stretching schedule improves flexibility of the body and improves our mental health too and makes us calmer, composed, and relaxed, and the productivity level of doing any task also increases.

After learning about so many benefits of a daily stretching schedule hope you get a better understanding of why stretching feels good. It is also important to know that excessive stretching is also harmful to the body. So to get proper results from stretching, you need to keep the below things in mind.

  • Regulate your breath while stretching.
  • Some warm-up exercises need to be done before stretching.
  • Stretch time should not be more than 30 seconds.
  • Stretching should be done on both sides of our body equally; otherwise, it leads to injury.
  • Stretching can be harmful to you if there is already pain in any of your body parts or suffering from any disease. So it is really important to consult the doctor first and after the doctor’s advice does stretching accordingly.
  • Stretching during the late stage of pregnancy should be avoided; otherwise, it leads to injury.
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Jacob Lund on Shutterstock

So many diseases surround us all, so this is really high time to pause in life and think about our health. If health is not there, we can’t survive for a longer time.

It would help if you considered stretching as a core component in your life. Even if you don’t get time for yoga or a workout, a little stretching keeps your body active the whole day, and here comes the point of why stretching feels good. Stretching makes your life healthier and happier, and you will stay away from all diseases till old age.

So start maintaining a proper schedule of health and work and start with a few minutes of stretching every day despite your daily work, and you will experience very surprising results in a few weeks.

Read more from us here.

  1. Janesick, Valerie J. ” Stretching” Exercises for Qualitative Researchers. Sage, 2010. ↩︎
  2. Weldon, S. M., and R. H. Hill. “The efficacy of stretching for prevention of exercise-related injury: a systematic review of the literature.” Manual therapy 8.3 (2003): 141-150. ↩︎
  3. Janesick, Valerie J. ” Stretching” exercises for qualitative researchers. Sage Publications, 2015. ↩︎
  4. Johnson, Katherine D., et al. “Reliability of thoracic spine rotation range-of-motion measurements in healthy adults.” Journal of athletic training 47.1 (2012): 52-60. ↩︎
  5. Voss, Dorothy E. “Proprioceptive neuromuscular facilitation.” American Journal of Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation 46.1 (1967): 838-898. ↩︎
  6. Javaheri, Sogol, and Susan Redline. “Insomnia and risk of cardiovascular disease.” Chest 152.2 (2017): 435-444. ↩︎
  7. Marsden, Mandy. “Lower back pain in cyclists: A review of epidemiology, pathomechanics and risk factors.” International SportMed Journal 11.1 (2010): 216-225. ↩︎

Last Updated on by ayeshayusuf


Priyal Lathi

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