Why Does Stretching Feel Good?
Stretching does a whole lot of good for your body, not only just warming you up for or down from exercise, or after you’ve woken up from sleeping.
First of all, circulation is greatly increased by stretching. As the muscles squeeze during the stretch phase, they contract on the blood vessels, squeezing blood back to the heart so that it can be replenished with oxygen in the lungs, and then newly oxygenated blood returns quickly to the area. This increase in circulation, and thus supplying fresh blood to the area much quicker than unaided circulation, feels extremely good to the body, especially when it hasn’t happened for some time.
Along with blood flow to the stretched areas, all blood flow is affected, and this includes blood flow to the brain. With the increase of blood flow to the brain, many different sensors in the brain that get pleasure from the increased flow of oxygenated blood. This is also why people say that they can think so much clearer when they exercise. Not only are they happy because of endorphins, but because their circulation is increased.
Breathing is also much more beneficial when you are stretching ‘š the chest cavity is expanded by stretching and the lung capacity is much greater, so deeper breaths can be taken, and this is another sensation that just feels good to the body, like taking deep breaths before or after a stressful event. This also increases the amount of air getting into the blood, enriching the oxygen carries to the body, making a very happy body.
Also when you sleep, your breathing is quite shallow and slow, and thus your blood supply is much slower to the body ‘š so when you wake and then stretch, you revitalize both your body and mind by supplying fresh and highly oxygenated blood to the whole body, getting ready for the day.